CDC: Subvariant XBB.1.5 causing 43% of new COVID-19 cases in US

The latest data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests more than 40 percent of new COVID-19 cases in the country are due to the Omicron XBB.1.5 subvariant.

The CDC says the fast-spreading strain is estimated to account for 43 percent of the country's coronavirus cases for the week through Saturday.

That is an increase of about 10 percentage points from the previous week, which makes XBB.1.5 more prevalent than any other strain in the US, including the previously dominant Omicron subvariant BQ.1.1.

In the northeast of the country, including the state of New York, XBB.1.5 accounts for more than 80 percent of new cases.

The average daily number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in the US as of Tuesday was about 5,800, down about 10 percent from the previous week.

The average daily number of deaths as of Wednesday was around 560, up about 170 from the week before.

The World Health Organization says that XBB.1.5 appears to be one of the most immunity-evasive variants to date. But it also says there is not yet enough data on its clinical severity.