Covid is rearing its ugly head again locally and across the state. The number of outright hospitalizations in California has doubled in the last three weeks — from 2,094 to 4,321 as of Tuesday — and is nearing last summer’s peak of 4,843. And this is a drop in the bucket, think about how many more people have the virus and stayed home?
To make matters worse, the new strain is finding its way around our body's immune response systems.
XBB is a subvariant of the Omicron variant that began spreading in 2021. It was first detected in San Diego County in November and now accounts for 4% of COVID cases in the county and 6% throughout California, according to wastewater surveillance data.
The subvariant is showing the ability to evade immune responses which could lead to a surge in cases, experts say.
“The virus mutates, so it changes pieces of its genetic material to change proteins that are on the outside of that virus that the immune system recognizes to knock it out. So, once it changes that the immune system can't recognize it as a pathogen anymore. So, the virus is able to get by those immune responses,” UC San Diego Chief of Infectious Diseases Dr. Davey Smith said.
I have been lucky enough to evade the dreaded virus so far and I want to keep it that way. Some of my close friends have not been so lucky of late.
I had a third booster scheduled for Friday but was not sure if it would give me protection against the latest bug. I stopped at the pharmacy this morning and canceled my previous appointment and will be getting the Moderna RCG FS bivalent shot which I am told will provide up to date protection against the latest mutation.
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