The XE variant was diagnosed on February 22 in Thailand in a 34-year-old man. And as always, the prospect of new, more contagious and more severe variants raises fears of a return to protective health measures around the world. India is now facing two new variants that have been detected and confirmed by health authorities.
On April 6, the first Indian case of the XE variant of the coronavirus was reported in Mumbai. A case of the Kappa variant was also discoveredaccording to Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC)† Patients with the new variants of the virus have so far shown no serious symptoms. Mumbai is the most populous city in India, the commercial capital of India.
#Break ud83dudea8: India reports first case of new coronavirus variant XE and one case of Kappa variant in Mumbai
The new variant XE is a mutated hybrid of two versions of Omicron – BA.1 and BA.2. According to the World Health Organization, it is the most contagious variant of Covid-19. pic.twitter.com/QcgYkOaFCO
— The Tatva (@thetatvaindia) Apr 6, 2022
The XE variant just detected for the first time in Mumbai is a “recombinant”, ie a mutation of the BA.1 and BA.2 strains of Omicron. Recombinant mutations arise when a patient is infected with multiple variants of Covid. The variants mix their genetic material during replication to form a new mutation, British experts said in an article in the British Medical Journal.
The World Health Organization has stated that the new XE mutation appears to be 10% more transmissible than the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron.
Like Omicron, there are already known symptoms that resemble a cold, such as a runny nose, sneezing and sore throat. The first signs would apparently be less severe than the initial form of Covid-19 which causes fever, cough and sometimes loss of taste or smell.
The United Kingdom has reported several hundred cases since January 19. The British Health Security Agency, like the WHO, estimates, based on more than 3000 sequences performed, that XE is “10% more infectious” than BA.2.
As of March 16, the strain had a 9.8% faster growth rate than the stealth variant BA.2. According to the latest government figures, a total of 637 cases of this new variant have been discovered in England so far (as of March 22, editors note).
Other cases have also been reported in Finland or Israel and Thailand, where it was discovered.
But now it is in India that the eyes are turning. In this country of record density, where every new variant is closely monitored.