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New COVID-19 sub-variant found in Vietnam

HANOI, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- A new version of Omicron called XBB has been recorded in southern Vietnam's Ho Chi Minh City, local media reported on Wednesday.

The COVID-19 sub-variant was reported in December last year and accounted for a small share only, according to a COVID-19 research team of the Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases and the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit.

During the second half of 2022, the southern city reported mostly Omicron and Delta variants, according to Vietnam News Agency.

They said that the COVID-19 situation in the southern city is still under good control, showing the role of vaccines in protecting severe cases and preventing deaths.

According to the World Health Organization, XBB and its sublineages are a recombinant of BA.2.10.1 and BA.2.75 sublineages.

The current data do not suggest there are substantial differences in disease severity for XBB infections. There is, however, early evidence pointing at a higher reinfection risk, as compared to other circulating Omicron sublineages, according to the organization.