Covid XE variant: what is known about this new coronavirus mutation

Covid XE variant: what is known about this new coronavirus mutation


The XE variant could be more contagious than previous Covid mutations. Its spread is closely observed by scientists. For now, no reason to be alarmed. Here’s what you need to know.

XE: This is the name of the new variant of Covid detected in Britain and India. A logical mutation in the life of a virus that, like any new strain, is closely watched by medical experts.

A combination of two Omicron strains

The Covid XE variant is a combination of two Omicron strains, BA.1 and BA.2. Such a creation occurs when people are infected with several variants. The genetic material of the virus is altered and the patient infects other people. The spread is then more or less fast, depending on the rate of contagion of the new variant.

“Recombinant XE (BA.1-BA.2) was first detected in the United Kingdom on January 19 and more than 600 sequences have been reported and confirmed since. (…) Initial estimates indicate a ~ 10% advantage for the growth rate of the community compared to BA.2 “, says WHO in its latest bulletin. Clearly, the XE variant could be up to 10% more contagious. First data that remains to be confirmed.

WHO monitoring

The WHO states that it “continues to monitor and assess the public health risk associated with or without recombinant variants of SARS-CoV-2.” The information will be distilled as the data is revealed. In the United Kingdom, too, the first increases in the field of the variant show a growth rate of almost 10% higher.

As for the symptoms, they would be the same as with Omicron: runny nose, sneezing, sore throat.

According to the information pole of TF1, XE was reportedly detected in Finland and Israel. It is then probable that several cases are already in circulation in France.

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