Sunday, March 3, 2024

COVID-19: WhatsApp message on XBB subvariant is fake, warns Union govt

The Union government on Thursday debunked a fake message regarding the coronavirus XBB subvariant of the Omicron strain, that has been circulating on social media.

The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare shared the message on Twitter and clarified that it was fake and misleading.

The message claimed that the new variant of the Covid-19 Omicron XBB virus is “different, deadly and not easy to detect correctly”. The message also claimed that the symptoms of the variant exclude cough and fever and only include joint pain, headache, pain in the neck, upper back pain, pneumonia and lack of appetite.

According to the World Health Organization, the XBB subvariant has originated – or formed as a mutation of – from two strains of BA.2, the BA.2.75, a fast circulating variant, and BJ.1, of the Omicron variant of the virus.

The XBB is also identified as a recombinant virus as it exhibits the characteristics of its different strains.

In India, four cases of the BF.7 sub-lineage have been identified through genome sequencing in Gujarat and Odisha

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