The fast-spreading Omicron XBB.1.5 is estimated to make up nearly half of U.S. COVID-19 cases, data from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed on Friday, putting it on track to become the dominant subvariant in the United States.

It is estimated to account for 49.1 per cent of COVID cases in the country a jump from 37.2 per cent last week. The subvariant is an

offshoot of XBB, a combination of two other Omicron sub-variants, that has been rapidly gaining ground in the United States, particularly in the northeast.

The World Health Organisation's Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said earlier this month, Omicron XBB.1.5 has been on the rise globally and identified in over 25 countries.

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