COVID-19: Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5 detected in Peru

Photo: ANDINA/Andres Valle

Photo: ANDINA/Andres Valle

17:57 | Lima, Jan. 15.

The National Health Institute (INS), through its Genomic Surveillance team, this week detected the XBB.1.5 sub-variant of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in three cases in Lima, which remain stable, the Ministry of Health (Minsa) reported on Sunday.

The government agency stated that this is part of the sequencing of weekly samples that the INS has been processing, using data from all regions across Peru, in order to timely identify the circulating lineages of SARS-CoV-2 in the national territory.

The detection of XBB.1.5 implies that there may be more related cases and there may be an increase in COVID-19 cases in the following weeks.

It should be noted that the XBB.1.5 lineage is a descendant of the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 the cause of COVID-19 which has been identified in 38 countries, especially in the United States, where it represents 43% of the sequenced samples.

Along with XBB.1, XBB.1.5 is the lineage with the strongest transmission and immune evasion ability, and can infect people protected by vaccination and previous infection. 

However, there are no data to suggest increased mortality due to XBB.1.5.

In light of this, Minsa reiterates the importance of wearing face masks in closed spaces and completing the COVID-19 vaccination series, as well as the boosters, where applicable.


Published: 1/15/2023