SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A new strain of the Covid Omicron variant is taking over in the United States.

The XBB subvariant accounts for about 40-percent of confirmed U.S. Covid cases. In the northeast, the XBB accounts for about 75-percent of confirmed cases.

On Friday, the seven-day average of daily Covid hospitalizations reached over 42,000. Lab studies have found that XBB is capable of evading antibodies from previous Covid infections or vaccinations, meaning exposure could lead to someone getting sick or infected again.

XBB has been found in at least 70 countries, according to the World Health Organization,
and has caused surges of infection in some parts of Asia, including India and Singapore, in October.

People age 65 and older are the most vulnerable to any form of the Covid virus. Yet, only 37.5 percent of that age group has received the updated Omicron booster, according to the most recent CDC data.

Health Experts are encouraging people to get their booster shots to bolster their immune system against the newer subvariants.