COVID-19 Variant XE was first detected in the UK back in January. Now, the first case of the new variant has been reported in Mumbai. According to reports, this new variant is a hybrid of two sub-lineages of Omicron variants BA.1 and BA. 2.
The first case of the new COVID-19 variant XE was reported in Mumbai on April 6. However, the patients detected with the new variants have not shown any severe symptoms as of yet. Suresh Kakani, Additional BMC Commissioner said that the patient detected with variant XE had a foreign travel history. “Of the 230, 228 had Omicron BA2 variant and one had Kapa and one was detected with XE,” he said in his statement. He further mentioned that as per WHO guidelines, there is nothing to worry about the new variant.
Reports say that the Mumbai patient caught with new COVID-19 variant is a 50-year-old costume designer who returned from South Africa in the month of February and had tested positive for COVID-19 on March 2. The genetic sequencing report confirming infection with the new variant came in on Wednesday.
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Here are ten things to know about the new COVID-19 variant XE:
- COVID-19 variant XE was first detected in UK on January 19 according to the latest update by the WHO.
- XE is a recombinant, which is a mutation of BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron strains. Such mutations occur when a patient has been infected by various combinations of strains.
- According to WHO, the XE variant is 10 percent more transmissible than BA. 2 strain of Omicron. Some reports suggest that XE has the highest transmissibility among all the COVID-19 variants discovered as of yet, however, experts are still confirming these claims.
- The symptoms relating to this new strain of COVID-19 include fever, sore throat, scratchy throat, cough and cold, skin irritation and discolouration and gastrointestinal distress, among others.
- So far there is no concrete evidence to prove that XE is a severe disease that may cause extensive causalities since most of the Omicron variants have shown far less severity.
- The COVID-19 vaccines can reduce the chances of severe illness or death if not provide absolute protection from the newly discovered variant.
- The new variant is said to have spiked the COVID-19 cases in Europe and China in the month of March.
- The first case of XE variant in India was recorded on Wednesday, April 6 in Mumbai. The 50-year-old patient returned from South Africa on February 10 and was tested negative at the time. she contracted the disease as she tested positive on March 2.
- Along with UK, China and now India, the COVID-19 variant XE has also been found in Thailand and New Zealand.
- COVID-19 appropriate measures can help reduce the chances of contracting the new variant.