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Philippines posts first XBF case 

PHILIPPINE health authorities on Wednesday reported the first case of the Omicron subvariant XBF in the country. 

The XBF sample was collected in December 2022 and sequenced on Jan. 28, the Department of Health (DoH) said in a statement. 

Two new cases of the Omicron subvariant XBB.15 — the most contagious coronavirus subvariant so far — were also  detected, bringing the total to three, it said. 

XBF was initially flagged for its “increasing prevalence” and had been associated with the recent increase in infections in Australia and Sweden, the agency said.  

It accounted for 55% of total cases  in Victoria, Australia, DoH said, citing a recent wastewater analysis. 

Antiviral treatments against COVID-19 were no longer effective against several Omicron subvariants including XBF, DoH said. 

“However, currently available evidence for XBF does not suggest any differences in disease severity and/or clinical manifestations compared to the original Omicron variant,” it added. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza 

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