India reports first case of Coronavirus Variant XE from Mumbai; What is Omicron XE?

First case of Coronavirus Variant XE in India has been reported in Mumbai. The patient infected with the new variant has not shown any severe symptoms so far. 

Created On: Apr 6, 2022 18:08 IST
First case of Variant XE in India
First case of Variant XE in India

COVID variant XE: The first case of Coronavirus Variant XE has been reported in India from Mumbai, Maharashtra on April 6, 2022. The reporting of Coronavirus variant XE was announced by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in a media release. Reportedly, the patients infected with new Coronavirus Variant XE have not shown any severe symptoms so far. XE is Omicron's new sub-variant. 

The World Health Organisation, however, had said last week that the new mutant may be more transmissible than any other strain of Coronavirus. The global health body stated that the new mutation XE appears to be 10 percent more transmissible than the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron. 

Omicron XE: Where was it first detected?

The new Omicron subvariant was first detected in the United Kingdom on January 19, 2022. As per researchers, COVID variant XE is 10 times more transmissible than the previous strains. It could become the most dominant strain in the future.

The Health Agency of Britain had said on April 3 that XE was first detected in January 2022 and 637 cases of Omicron XE have been reported in the country so far. 

What is new COVID Variant XE?

The new Covid variant XE which is a sub-variant of Omicron is reportedly a mutation of Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 strains, as per UK Health Security Agency.

XE is a recombinant which is a mutation of BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron strains. The recombinant mutations emerge when a patient is infected by multiple variants of Coronavirus. The present variants mix up their genetic material during the replication and form a new mutation. 

Omicron XE Variant: What are the symptoms?

1. As per reports, the new COVID XE variant has not shown any severe symptoms yet but is proving to be highly infectious.

2. Some of the initial symptoms of Omicron XE include dizziness and fatigue, headaches, sore throat, muscle soreness, and fever.

3. Other symptoms of Omicron XE include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and stomach ache.

4. The common symptoms of COVID-19 including loss of smell and taste are rarely being reported among people affected with the new Omicron XE variant.

Is new COVID Variant XE more transmissible?

Reportedly, the new Omicron XE variant is highly transmissible and is almost 10 times more infectious than the previous strains. As per the World Health Organisation, early-day estimates indicate a community growth rate advantage of 10 percent as compared to BA.2, however, the findings required further confirmation. 

WHO also clarified that the new COVID variant will continue to be categorized as a part of the Omicron variant till more studies are conducted and significant differences are identified.

Mumbai reports first case of COVID Variant XE

Out of the samples of 230 Mumbai patients which were sent for genome sequencing, 228 came positive for Omicron, one XE, and one Kappa. 21 of the total 230 patients in Mumbai had to be hospitalized, though none of them needed oxygen or intensive care. Out of those hospitalized, 12 were unvaccinated and 9 had taken both doses of the COVID vaccine. 

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