Against the risk associated with Kraken, subvariant Covid XBB.1.5, the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) suggests, among the actions recommended to the public health authorities of the EU and the European Economic Area, to “consider interventions limited in time and non-pharmacological such as staying at home in case of illness, smart working, appropriate use of masks and good ventilation of internal spaces”. This is what we read in a document published by the ECDC on the risk associated with the Omicron sub-lineage that has come under the spotlight for its advance in the USA.
The agency also recommends “maintaining or enhancing adequate levels of testing and sequencing of Sars-CoV-2, according to the target thresholds indicated by the ECDC/WHO guidelines”, with a “timely sharing of data; putting in place adequate risk communication activities, aimed at healthcare professionals and the public, including information on treatment options; improve timely adherence to Covid-19 vaccination, includes primary and booster doses, according to national guidelines; follow guidelines appropriate guidance for infection prevention and control in health care settings”.
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) assesses the overall level of risk to the EU/EEA associated with the spread of the Kraken variant of SARS-CoV-2, Omicron sublineage XBB.1.5, as “low for the general population”. But this risk is classified “moderate to high for vulnerable people such as the elderly and unvaccinated and immunocompromised people”, depending on their level of immunity against SARS-CoV-2. “There are several knowledge gaps on XBB.1.5 – specifies the ECDC – and this assessment could change in the coming weeks as more evidence becomes available”. Meanwhile, informs the EU body, “as of January 12, 2023, the ECDC has designated this sublineage as a variant of interest”. It is a sublineage of XBB (recombinant dubbed Gryphon), which evolved from two previous Omicron lineages, with an additional change in the Spike protein of the virus. It was first detected in the United States in October 2022 and has since grown proportionately in the overseas country and in many countries around the world, including several EU/EEA states.