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New COVID-19 subvariant risks new surge

Initial data suggests XBB.1.5 more contagious but less deadly

Much like this time last year, a new strain of COVID-19 is spreading throughout the U.S. and the world and looks poised to become the dominant form of the virus in the near future, though health officials suspect the surge will not be nearly as bad as the one in early 2022.

Estimates from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention say that the new subvariant, designated XBB.1.5, accounted for about 2 percent of cases in the U.S. in early December, but over the course of a month that number rose to 27 percent and that number could continue to rise quickly.

This new subvariant of COVID-1...


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