‘Kraken’, the name of the new covid variant in Spain: why is it called that and what are its symptoms?

DSince the irruption of the coronavirus in Spain, various virus strains that, to a greater or lesser extent, have wreaked havoc. The last to do so is the XBB.1.5, known as ‘Kraken’, which has already begun to be noticed in the country and even resists vaccines. The World Health Organization (WHO) has already shown its concern.

According to experts, the ‘Kraken’ is the most contagious variant of all that have been seen until now. For now, the agency has warned about the growth of data and that is that COVID-19 is spreading faster and countries are already studying measures to curb the effects of the strain.

This is the ‘Kraken’, the latest variant of COVID-19

The first data of the ‘Kraken’ were given in the United States and, specifically, in New York and Connecticut during the past month of October. As the WHO maintains, the strain soon took over the majority of cases in the country led by Joe Biden, currently monopolizing 40% of new positives and 70% in the northeastern part of the nation.

Despite its rapid spread, ‘Kraken’ is estimated to have mild symptoms, like most other strains. Mortality is low and it is common for patients to present cough, sore throat, fatigue or nasal congestion.

“We are seeing that it is a bit less likely to appear more severe symptoms“, Andrew Pekosz, a virologist at Johns Hopkins University, recently explained to NBC.

Your resistance to vaccines

What worries the WHO the most, regardless of its spread, is the resistance of the XBB.1.5 variant to vaccines. This is due, according to experts, to the presence of 14 Spike protein mutations. This allows the ‘Kraken’ to resist the body’s antibodies and, therefore, means that even the newly vaccinated are not free of contagion. In fact, Columbia University estimated in a study that the strain has 63 times less likely to be neutralized by antibodies in the blood of infected or vaccinated than the micron BA.2 subvariant.

Despite this, this does not mean that vaccines do not work. “They still provide a level of immunity that may not prevent you from getting infected, but may have a significant impact on whether or not you become seriously ill and dieexplained Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research at the University of Minnesota.

Why is it called ‘Kraken’

The name ‘Kraken’ is related to the Norse mythology sea monster. Scientists have given that name to the latest strain of COVID-19 so that it is easier for the population to identify it, since there are currently more than 650 micron subvariants.

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