It’s more of an issue internationally right now, but 18 U.S. states have reported cases of the emerging omicron variant XBB.1.16. While XBB.1.5 is still the most prevalent variant here, the World Health Organization reports that XBB.1.16 has been reported in 22 countries and has become the dominant variant in some of those, already increasing hospitalizations and deaths. XBB variants 1.9.1, XBB, and XBB.1.5.1 are also on the rise domestically, raising concerns that severe cases could again become more prevalent. Currently, XBB.1.16 has been found in:
- New Jersey
- New York
- North Carolina
XBB.1.16 is thought to be similar to XBB.1.5 but has been shown to be more infectious.
A New COVID Variant Is Increasing Concern Across the Globe—Including in the U.S.