The “Kraken” variant XBB.1.5 has finally started to dominate over the other subvariants of covid in Australia. This includes Australia’s own XBF (which is still persisting and may return with XBF.2, XBF.5 and XBF.6, XBF.7, etc. ).
So far case numbers are on the rise in NSW and Victoria, Australia’s most prolific link to the rest of the world and the variants floating out there. You can see the number of active cases and hospitalizations have increased in NSW and Victoria.
Case numbers are already under-estimated but will become even worse with further measures by the Australia government to hide covid and reduce testing. In Western Australia a PCR can only be taken if you are already sick with covid, tested positive to a RAT tests, so the positivity rate is now 100% for PCR tests. This is a joke but hopefully they will still sequence variants in case a new virulent variant forms.
So far Kracken XBB.1.5 or any of the other recombinant variants (like XBF and XBC) have not shown any signs of increased harm, though it is certainly not harmless with 1 in 30 getting #longcovid and 1 in 100 being completely incapacitated from a normal life. One in ten of the very old (over 85) can be expected to die, and 3 in 10 will be seriously fucked up with covid. That is sad, that we as an advanced society that wants to get to Mars, are letting this virus savage the elderly. We are a bunch of selfish greg-hunts.
Let’s also not forget that 4 times as many people are dying as an excess deaths on top of covid. These are either #aftercovid or #aftervax. If the government released the data the scientists could work out what was going on, but they are still playing the “vaccines are safe and effective” card.
paper in BJM: Covid-19: What do we know about XBB.1.5 and should we be worried?