COPENHAGEN, Feb 16. (Xinhua) -- Wastewater monitoring shows an alarming increase in the number of coronavirus infections in Denmark, even though the number of positive PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests, hospitalizations and deaths appears unchanged, the Statens Serum Institute (SSI) said in a weekly report released on Thursday.
According to the SSI, the new COVID-19 Omicron subvariant XBB.1.5, which was spreading rapidly in the United States at the end of last year, is now the most common strain in Denmark, accounting for " approximately 26 percent of all cases."
XBB.1.5 is a coronavirus variant with established immune escape characteristics even after infection or vaccination, but it is not known to cause more severe disease than the other Omicron strains.
The SSI said that the rate at which the virus is being detected in wastewater has increased by "approximately 17 percent over the past three weeks." ■