There aren’t yet confirmed cases in Israel. But some 41 percent of American cases are now categorized as XBB.1.5, doubling the number of diagnoses in just a week, making the strain dominant.
Nothing like XBB.1.5 has been seen since late 2021, according to immunologist Dr. Yariv Wine of Tel Aviv University.
“It seems to be faster spreading than any other variant since Omicron emerged in November 2021 and then spread fast in early 2022,” Wine commented. “Virologists are calling it ‘a hell of a variant’ because it’s so transmissible.”