New Covid-19 variant spreading swiftly, doctors warn

THURSDAY, MAY 18, 2023

Doctors are warning that a new substrain of Omicron – FU.1 – is spreading worldwide at a 50% faster rate than the Omicron substrain XBB.1.16.

The FU.1 substrain (also known as XBB. has infected 122 people worldwide, including one Thai, a Facebook post by Ramathibodi Hospital’s Centre for Medical Genomics said on Thursday.

Omicron FU.1 is spreading primarily in Shanghai. Omicron is a strain of the Covid-19 virus.

"Omicron strains are still spreading worldwide despite a significant decline in Covid-19 cases," the centre said.

It said the number of patients infected by Omicron XBB.1.5 continued to drop and that it expected another two Omicron substrains – XBB.1.16 and XBB.1.9.1 – could soon become dominant.


The centre said 93.5% of Thai Covid-19 patients between April 15 to May 15 were infected with Omicron XBB substrain: 19% were infected with XBB.1.16, 10% were infected with XBB.1.5 and 8.4% were infected with XBB.1.9.1.