XBB.1.5 is now the predominant COVID variant in the country, accounting for 43% of all new cases in the U.S., according to the latest data from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That rate is up from 30% of infections the week before.
Symptoms of XBB.1.5 are similar to previous variants and that holds true even in pediatric patients. Common symptoms in children can include:
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion or runny nose
- Lost sense of smell or taste
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- GI symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
Less common are reports of loss of taste or smell and shortness of breath, all hallmarks of earlier variants.
Pediatrician Dr. Tanya Altman, says that most of the COVID infections she’s seeing in children are mild and pediatric patients seem to be recovering quickly after testing positive. XBB.1.5 is one of the most highly contagious variants and apparently binds even more tightly to the receptors in the human body. It does not, however, appear to cause more severe illness than earlier variants.
Symptoms can range from mild symptoms to severe, typically appearing between 2-14 days after exposure. The CDC continues to recommend people get tested at least 5 days after their exposure to COVID-19.