All you need to know about new ultra transmissible ‘Kraken’ Covid variant in UK

The new ultra-transmissible strain of Covid-19, dubbed the Kraken, has been detected in the United Kingdom.

Around 75,000 new cases of Covid were reported earlier this week (January 5), with several media outlets reporting that a whopping three million people caught it over the Christmas period.

And it is being claimed by the Sanger Institute that the new XBB.1.5 variant of the virus accounts for more than half of those.

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Dubbed Kraken – although only by the media and people on Twitter – it appears to have similar symptoms to the Omicron strain of the virus which has been in the UK since around August.

According to the Zoe Covid website, the symptoms include a runny nose, headache, fatigue, sneezing and a sore throat.

The World Health Organisation has already labelled the Kraken strain as the “most transmissible sub-variant” detected of the virus since the pandemic began in March, 2020.

Worrying, expert Francois Balloux said: “It is widely anticipated to go up in frequency globally, and may cause a sizeable fraction of cases globally in the near future.

  • Grim Covid warning as 'ultra-transmissible' strain dubbed The Kraken sweeps across UK

“As such, it could push up case numbers over the coming weeks in the UK

“It might be able to escape antibodies, but that’s not the only immunity we have.

“Our immune system is used to adapting to viruses.”

And a spokesman for the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said: “There is a possibility that this variant could have an increasing effect on the number of COVID-19 cases in the EU/EEA, but not within the coming month as the variant is currently only present in the EU/EEA at very low levels

“Major differences in variant circulation have been observed between North America and Europe several times during the pandemic.”

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It has also been said by several experts that the XBB.1.5 strain has so many mutations that it is able to bind more easily to cells within the human body than every previously discovered strain.

It has so far been found in around 74 countries worldwide, including the UK, China, India, United States, Australia and Pakistan.

An increase in UK hospitalisations and deaths because of the strain has not yet been reported among the Government's almost-daily Covid data.

The UK has NOT introduced any measures to combat it as yet, with the Prime Minister not commenting on it thus far.

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