What is the new COVID variant XE? Here is what WHO says

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The COVID-19 pandemic may have subsided but not ended yet. Yes, with time, our fears have gone down a bit given that experts have discovered the vaccines. However, what’s so worrying is that people are getting infected even after getting fully vaccinated. And that’s not surprising since the experts had already warned how vaccines are just a protective shield and not something that should let you put your guard down.

If that wasn’t enough, new variants of the virus have created a ruckus in many countries. For instance, we were terrorized by the omicron and delta variants of COVID-19 that were more dangerous than the original version. Now, to make matters worse, experts have discovered yet another variant of the virus. Here is what the experts have to say about this new variant that is termed XE.


What is COVID XE?

WHO has revealed in its latest report the discovery of a new variant of COVID-19 called XE. The health body is worried about the fact that this mutant version may be more transmissible than any other strain of coronavirus. So, XE is a mutation of the BA.1 and BA.2 strains of omicron. According to the experts, it is recombinant. In such cases, it is feared that the patient may be infected by multiple variants of the virus. According to a paper published in the British Medical Journal, the variants of COVID-19 mix their genetic material during the replication process.


What’s more worrying is WHO’s latest prediction about the XE variant of COVID-19. The experts have stated that it is 10 percent more transmissible as compared to the BA.2 variant of the omicron virus.

As published on NDTV, the global body said, ‘Early-day estimates indicate a community growth rate advantage of 10 percent as compared to BA.2, however, this finding requires further confirmation.’


Did you know that the XE variant of COVID-19 was detected way back on January 19? Till now, a total number of 637 cases of the new variant have been reported. However, as we know, the numbers keep changing with time and we need to be prepared for the worst.

The situation in the UK

Currently, the UK is among the worst-hit countries in terms of COVID-19 cases. Moreover, Omicron’s BA.2 subvariant is also rapidly spreading all over the globe. 4.9 million people in the UK alone are reported to have contracted COVID-19 in the last week.

That isn’t the end. Even the US and China have reported a surge in COVID-19 cases in the past few weeks. Most importantly, BA.2 variant has wreaked havoc all around the world. China alone has reported more than a lakh cases in March.