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New Kraken COVID variant detected in UK

A new sub-variant of the Omicron coronavirus virus known as XBB.1.5, or Kraken, has been found in thirty-eight countries including the United Kingdom. The European Centre for Disease Prevention forecasts that it will be the main form of the coronavirus in Europe during February and March 2023. 
 A senior lecturer in virology at the University of Kent, Dr. Jeremy Rossman, said:
“A lot of scientists are concerned that we’re at a really high risk of another relatively severe wave. We just haven't seen this jump in transmissibility in quite a while.”

Fortunately, Kraken is unlikely to cause more severe symptoms than previous variations of COVID. The symptoms are like those of COVID-19 and include high body temperature, coughing, loss of smell, trouble breathing, fatigue, headache, and an aching body.

This new variant spreads quickly, though during the last week of 2022, it was only present in 5% of coronavirus samples. Those who have received the COVID vaccine and boosters will have some immunity from the Kraken, but preliminary research reveals that the new variant is more resistant to vaccines than previous ones.
The new variant will probably cause fewer COVID deaths compared to periods such as January 2020, but it could put pressure on the NHS at a time when it is already dealing with a high number of flu hospitalisations.
 Dr. Jeremy Rossman recommends wearing 
face masks as protection from the virus. He says that FFP2 or FFP3 masks are more effective than surgical masks, as they fit better and filter out the virus. 


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