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Kraken – the new COVID subvariant

    SARS CoV 2 virus
Multiple subvariants of the original SARS-CoV-2 virus have popped up around the world over the past three years. Image: Yhdysvaltain Tautikeskus CDC

There’s a new Omicron subvariant of the virus that causes COVID-19. It is identified as XBB.1.5 and it’s also called “Kraken” – after a legendary sea monster of gargantuan size said to appear off the coasts of Norway.

According to the WHO’s COVID-19 technical lead, Maria Van Kerkhove, speaking at a news conference on January 4, existing data suggest that this new XBB.1.5 is the “most transmissible” subvariant that has been discovered yet.

As of January 9, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has confirmed up to 42 new cases of the “Kraken.” It was double the 21 confirmed cases reported the week before.