A new COVID-19 subvariant called XBB found in the Vietnamese city of Ho Chi Minh, local media reported on Wednesday.
The COVID-19 subvariant was reported last December and represented only a small fraction, according to a COVID-19 research team from Ho Chi Minh City Hospital for Tropical Diseases and the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit.
According to Vietnam News Agency, the southern city mainly reported Omicron and Delta variants in the second half of 2022.
They said the COVID-19 situation in the southern city is still well under control, demonstrating the role of vaccines in protecting serious cases and preventing deaths.
According to the World Health Organization, XBB and its sublines are a recombinant of BA.2.10.1 and BA.2.75 sublines.
Current data do not suggest that there are substantial differences in disease severity for XBB infections. However, there is early evidence suggesting a higher risk of reinfection, compared to other circulating Omicron sublines, the organization said.