The Slovenia Times

Covid variant XBB recorded in Slovenia

Health & MedicineSociety
PCR sample analysis.
Photo: Domen Anderle/STA

A new sub-lineage of the globally-dominant Omicron Covid variant has been detected in Slovenia with the National Laboratory for Health, Environment and Food so far confirming seven cases of XBB. The authorities say no additional epidemiological measures are required for now.

The first case of the new sub-variant was detected between 25 November and 9 December 2022 and then another six cases were confirmed between 10 and 28 December.

The first case was an infection with the sub-variant XBB.3, two cases were XBB.2, another two were the XBB.1 offshoot, one was XBB.3 and one XBB.1.5.

"Considering what we know about the XBB.1.5 variant and the level of immunity of the Slovenian population, additional measures are not required," the Covid task force at the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) said after discussing the situation at a meeting on 10 January.

"Vaccination against Covid-19 remains the key measure to prevent severer symptoms," added the task force, which will closely monitor developments in relation to XBB.1.5.

Currently, the dominant Covid variants in the country are BQ.1 and BA.5.

WHO data shows the highly contagious XBB.1.5 variant, nicknamed kraken by scientists, is on the rise in Europe, but the potential impact of this is still being assessed.

NIJZ data as of 11 January shows there are an estimated 11,000 active cases of coronavirus in the country with an average 600 cases confirmed a day over the past week. The 14-day incidence per 100,000 of the population is at 523.


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