DoH: Phl’s first Omicron XBF case a senior citizen with no travel history

The Department of Health on Thursday disclosed that the country’s first case of the Omicron subvariant XBF was a Filipino senior citizen with no known travel history abroad.

“The first case detected here in the Philippines is from a Filipino senior citizen with no known history of travel,” the DoH said in a statement.

The senior citizen, who was not named, presented mild symptoms and has already been tagged as recovered, according to the agency.

Based on its latest Covid-19 biosurveillance report, the Health department said it detected one XBF case in the country, which was sequenced last 28 January “with collection date in December 2022.”

XBF is a recombinant sublineage of Omicron BA.5 and BA2.75, which has been associated with recent case increases in Australia and Sweden.

Currently, the World Health Organization classified the Omicron subvariant XBF as a variant under monitoring.

The Health department urged the public to continue assessing individuals’ risk as global experts are “still characterizing” the variant in terms of transmissibility, immune evasion, and ability to cause more severe disease.

“Variants are expected to emerge and what’s important is our cases have remained manageable through vaccination and boosters,” it added.

“Let’s continue to asses our own risk and employ our layers of protection and through vaccination and boosters,” it added.

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