6 Jan 2023: Thoughts on WHN webinar on xbb1.5 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2FvLm0Hc2o
There are so many variants now but this is the most transmissable
1) XBB.1.5 is equally immune evasive as XBB.1, but
2) XBB.1.5 has a much higher hACE2 binding affinity.
I’m concerned because of the putative ability of XBB.1.5 to have increased capacity to infect cell types that express even lower levels of ACE2. This will increase tropism and possibly persistence in cell types that are long lived. I am truly concerned about the #longCOVID wave that follows this infection.
Variants like this arise and will continue to arise due to unrestrained spread in a partially immune population. Furthermore this virus appears to be able to outpace the vaccines. It maybe, due to politics and other reasons that it will always be able to outpace vaccines.
The vaccine is like an ejector seat, it might save your life but it might also cause damage.
What is missing is an effective strategy.
People ask if XBB1.5 will cause worse illness. Instead of waiting and seeing if this more transmissible and infective variant will cause worse illness we must suppress transmission.
The only strategy with any long term chance of success is to suppress transmission.