The new Covid subvariant Omicron XE has been detected in the UK amid a large number of cases overall.

The new variant was first identified on January 19, according to the World Health Organization.

However, UK health officials say there is currently not enough evidence to draw definitive conclusions about Omicron XE.

What is Omicron XE?

Omicron XE is a variant known as recombination that occurs when an individual is infected with two or more variants at the same time.

This leads to the mixing of their genetic material in the patient’s body.

Several recombinant variants have been identified during the course of the pandemic, so this is not unusual.

XE is a recombinant of the Omicron strains BA.1 and BA.2, with BA.2 leading most cases in the UK.

How many cases have there been?

According to the UK Health Security Agency, there were a total of 637 confirmed XE cases in the UK as of March 25.

The earliest of these dates the specimen to January 19 of this year.

This may be only a very small part of the total number of cases.

Last week, the Office for National Statistics estimated that around 4.9 million people in the UK took Covid in the week ending March 26 – the highest level since the survey began in April 2020. .

This hybrid has also been discovered in Thailand and Hong Kong.

How to transmit Omicron XE?

In a report published March 29, WHO said of XE: “Initial estimates suggest a community growth rate advantage of ~10% over BA.2, however, finding This needs further confirmation.

“XE is of the Omicron variant until significant differences in transmission and disease characteristics, including severity, can be reported.”

UK health officials say data modeling from January 15 to March 15 shows XE could see an average growth rate of 9.8% compared to BA.2.

However, Chief Medical Adviser at UKHSA, Professor Susan Hopkins said: “This particular type of recombinant, XE, has shown variable growth rates and we have yet to confirm whether it is beneficial. real growth or not.

“So far there has been insufficient evidence to draw conclusions about the transmissibility, severity or effectiveness of the vaccine.”

Does XE have any new symptoms?

It is not currently thought that the sub-variant is associated with new symptoms, although much is still unknown about XE.

Frequently reported symptoms of the Omicron strain initially resembled a cold, especially in vaccinated individuals.

The NHS recently updated its Covid symptoms list with nine additional symptoms.

Now, the list of potential signs includes shortness of breath, feeling tired or exhausted, and body aches among others, along with a high temperature, changes in taste or smell, or a cough. persistent new.


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