Mayan underworld: the new Covid subvariant surged in Yucatan

Mexico is experiencing a downward trend in the number of cases of Covid-19 infection, however the sub-variants continue to expand in various regions of the country.

Rodrígo García López, a researcher at UNAM’s Biotechnology Institute, has announced that the Genomic Surveillance Consortium, where they review the genomes of the virus and maintain constant surveillance of mutations, noticed an increase in cases in October in the southeastern part of Mexico.

He also revealed that the BW1 sub-variant, also known as “Xibalba” or the “Mayan Underworld”, due to its origin in the state of Yucatan during the fifth wave, was identified when they were waiting for the arrival of BQ1.1, which is called “hellhound”.

What are the characteristics of the Mayan Underworld sub-variant?

The UNAM researcher explained that this is a Mexican sub-variant of the coronavirus, whose origin is related to BA5C2, coming from the United States.

Although he clarified that it is not the first variant to be born in the country, since B11519 was the first Mexican strain.

Regarding whether the current vaccines protect against the “Mayan Underworld”, he said that it is advisable to apply the existing vaccines but to give a booster to those who have not been immunized during the last six months.

“It has to do with the mutations it carries, since it carries several key mutations in common with BQ, let’s say a potential competitor, they are mutations that potentially make it easier for the antibodies that fight the virus to escape, that is, the specific immune response, although it is also important to mention that it is still omicron”, he detailed.

He indicated that the symptoms are exactly the same as those of the “Hellhound” and “Nightmare” variants, which are fever, sore throat, cough and cut body, which complicates the possibility of distinguishing them.

TYT Newsroom