First XBC Deltacron Thai case recovers
The first patient diagnosed with the XBC Deltacron strain of Covid-19 in Thailand has now fully recovered as the patient did not experience severe symptoms.
Dr Supakit Sirilak, director-general of the Department of Medical Sciences, said on Wednesday that health authorities had detected the first case of XBC, a hybrid of the Delta and Omicron BA.2 variants, in the kingdom. The new hybrid has not yet shown any signs of causing severe symptoms, but it appears to be highly transmissible, said Dr Supakit.
The patient has fully recovered after samples were collected in October. Travel records showed the person had not travelled abroad, said the department chief.
Dubbed "Deltacron", the Omicron-Delta hybrid was first detected in several European countries in February. However, it is not a major concern, Dr Supakit said.
The department will keep monitoring coronavirus variants. As for the Covid-19 situation in Thailand, the Delta variant has been replaced by Omicron and a number of subvariants like BA.1, BA.2, BA.4 and BA.5.
Omicron remains the dominant strain in Thailand, said Dr Supakit.
From Nov 19-25, single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP/deletion) tests on 299 people showed that Omicron BA.2.75 subvariant accounted for 63.3% of cases, up from 42.9% one week earlier. Most cases of infection were locally acquired.
Whole genome sequencing showed there were 468 sequences of the BA.2.75 subvariant in Thailand. This included 216 sequences of its descendants such as BA.2.75.2, BA.188.8.131.52 (BN.1) and BN.184.108.40.206 (BL.2), said Dr Supakit.
BN.1 cases rose four-fold from the the previous week. Mutant strains can cause a spike in cases until they replace the original strain, Dr Supakit said.
He said the number of cases of the Omicron sub-variants XBB.1 and BQ.1 had climbed to four and seven, respectively.
Dr Supakit advised people to get four anti-Covid jabs, especially those with chronic conditions and senior citizens. He also asked people to maintain Covid-19 measures including wearing face masks, maintaining social distancing, washing hands regularly, and avoiding crowded places to mitigate the spread of the virus.