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  • The San Juan Daily Star

‘Kraken’ subvariant of COVID-19 confirmed in PR

By The Star Staff

The island Health Department confirmed Thursday that cases of the so-called “Kraken” subvariant of COVID-19 have already been reported in Puerto Rico.

The new omicron subvariant XBB.1.5, known as Kraken and which was first located in New York state, is expanding across the United States and already accounts for about 40% of COVID-19 cases in the nation, up from 20% last week.

The Health Department confirmed Thursday that the variant had already been reported in one case going back to November.

“In Puerto Rico, we identified sublineage XBB.1.5 on November 7,” an agency official told Red Informativa. “The first case presented symptoms of fever, cough, loss of smell or taste, sore throat, nasal congestion or runny nose and diarrhea, symptoms similar to those reported in case investigations that are conducted as part of the weekly follow-up calls and that are published in the Department of Health portal on Sundays.”

According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Kraken subvariant leads the number of national COVID-19 cases and has gained ground especially in the Northeast, where in New York it has already reached 75% of confirmed cases.

The subvariant is more contagious and more likely to compromise immunity from vaccination, according to the CDC.

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