A new Covid strain has been identified by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) as a likely contender to become the most dominant across the UK.The Orthrus - or CH.1.1. - strain is part of the Omicron variant and may already account for as much as 23 percent of all Covid cases in England.
The UKHSA has said that this sub-lineage is primed to 'take over' from the current dominant strain, BQ.1, also an Omicron offshoot.This Orthrus strain was first identified in November of 2022.
It is thought to come from a similar lineage to that of the Kraken - or XBB.1.5 - sub-lineage.As reported by the Mirror, In the first week of 2023, England, Scotland and Wales recorded more than 30,000 new Covid cases.The most recent report from Public Health Scotland found that there were around 219,600 people testing positive in Scotland, in the week ending December 31 2022.
This Up slightly from the previous report in which there was estimated to be 213,100 Scots testing positive in the week ending December 28 2022.The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) explained: "The analysis shows that coronavirus cases in the UK are primarily made up of BQ.1 and its sub-lineages, consistent with the UKHSA risk assessment published in October.