The advance of XE, the dangerous mutant variant of Omicron: these are the 9 new symptoms of Covid

The World Health Organization warned that a hybrid of two Omicron strains, BA.1 (also known as the original Omicron) and BA.2 (renamed Omicron 2 or stealthy, due to its ability to evade PCR tests) which was first detected in the UK and named XE, could be the most transmissible variant known so far. It is estimated to spread 10% more easily than BA.2, which itself was more transmissible than the original Omicron, famous for its ease of infection.

China is also experiencing a worrying rise in cases. This is the largest outbreak since the origin of the pandemic, in Wuhan. Authorities have reported the detection of two new subvariants of Ómicron, which do not coincide with any of those reported around the world. It’s not clear if the infections were one-time, minor events or if they could be a sign of future trouble.

Microscopic image of Sars-CoV-2. Photo: AP

In the midst of this uncertain picture, the UK National Health Service (NHS) This Monday officially incorporated nine new symptoms that are added to what this body had as characteristic of Covid.

According to this agency, the clinical picture of the coronavirus includes symptoms such as:

  • fever
  • new continuous cough
  • loss of sense of smell or taste

But now, Given the new advance of infections in that country, added these nine symptoms:

  • difficulty breathing
  • feeling tired or exhausted
  • aching body
  • headache
  • throat pain
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhea
  • feel sick or be sick

UK has experienced a sustained rise in cases in the last few weeks. Although some believe that the liberalization of some health restrictions by the Boris Johnson government partly explains this increase, not a few suspect that the arrival of the new XE variantcould also explain the rise.

The country, which has world leadership in the sequencing of new cases of the disease, detected three new variants. According to a report recently published by the United Kingdom Health Services Agency (UKHSA), the two so-called XD and XF are combinations of Delta and BA.1, or so-called “Deltacron” strains, of the two. that has been talked about for months but they have not had significant effects in any country.

XD is present in several European countries but has not been detected in the UK, according to the report. XF caused a small wave of infections in that country, but it has not been detected there since February 15. The variant of greatest concern, according to this report, apparently, is the so-called XE.

More than 600 cases of the variant have been identified, according to the UKHSA.

Like the other two newcomers, XE is a recombinant strain, meaning it is made up of two previously distinct variants. But it’s not a Deltacron mix. XE actually it is composed of the original Omicron (BA.1) and the newer Omicron (BA.2).

Photo: AP

This combination of infections means that the variant’s genetic material mixes within the patient’s body. This is not unusual and, in fact, has happened several times during the pandemic.

The World Health Organization issued a report on Thursday cHere are some preliminary details of this new variant.

“Recombinant XE was first detected in the UK on January 19 and since then more than 600 sequences have been reported and confirmed,” the WHO document reads. “Initial estimates indicate a community growth rate advantage of 10% compared to BA.2, however this finding requires further confirmation.”

But according to the agency, currently there is insufficient evidence to draw conclusions about the growth advantage or other properties of this variant. We continue to closely monitor all recombinants on a routine basis through our world-leading genomic surveillance and sequencing capability.

Despite them, scientists and doctors continue to closely monitor these new variants, which they hope will not become responsible for a new wave of cases around the world.

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