November 29, 2022

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What to Know About XE, the New COVID Variant

XE is the most recent COVID variant on our radar. It was first found within the UK and has since touched down in Thailand, India, and Israel, in keeping with CNBC. On March 26, Japan reported its first case of the variant from an asymptomatic US girl who arrived at Narita Worldwide Airport. She examined constructive for XE throughout a “routine examine,” in keeping with a report by The Japan Instances.

A “small quantity” of circumstances of the brand new variant have been detected within the US, a CDC spokesperson informed Confirm. Whereas there is no stable phrase on how briskly XE will unfold globally, the WHO indicated it is monitoring XE “as a part of the Omicron variant” in the interim. Here is what else we all know.

What Is the COVID-19 Variant XE?

It is a recombinant of omicron variants BA.1 and BA.2 (“stealth omicron”), in keeping with a publish from the UK Wholesome Safety Company (UKHSA). Recombinants happen when a person turns into contaminated with two or extra COVID variants on the similar time. “Recombinant variants usually are not an uncommon prevalence, notably when there are a number of variants in circulation, and a number of other have been recognized over the course of the pandemic to this point,” Susan Hopkins, chief medical advisor of UKHSA, states within the publish.

Is the XE Variant of COVID-19 Severe?

The XE variant presently has a development charge that’s 9.8 p.c larger than that of BA.2, in accordance UKHSA. Nonetheless, at the moment, well being professionals at UKHSA have but to find out whether or not or not that development charge means XE would be the subsequent variant to take over. “To date there may be not sufficient proof to attract conclusions about transmissibility, severity or vaccine effectiveness,” Hopkins informed CNBC.

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The place Has the XE Variant Been Reported?

As of January 19, 637 circumstances of XE had been reported within the UK. That quantity has since grown to 1,125 within the UK as of April 5, in keeping with CNBC. The variant has additionally been reported in Thailand, India, Israel, and Japan, as talked about above. And a small variety of circumstances have made it to the US. For now, UKHSA “will proceed to watch the scenario intently as a matter of routine, as [they] do all information referring to SARS-CoV-2 variants each within the UK and internationally.” The group recommends vaccination as a major measure to stop extreme sickness from potential COVID infections.