Home / Science / News /  XE recombinants virus: 10 COVID symptoms to watch out for with mutant Omicron strain circulating

The World Health Organisation (WHO) last week notified of the second recombinant virus XE which is a combination strain of two subvariants of the Omicron strain, i.e. the BA.1 and the BA.2. Though the severity of the infections caused by the strain is yet to be understood, the WHO has already notified that it is 10 times more transmissible than BA.2. And with such variants detected, it has been cautioned by WHO and other experts to remain alert to certain symptoms to avoid infections.  

What is XE recombinant virus? 

XE is a recombinant virus notified by the World Health Organisation. It is a combination virus of Omicron BA.1 and Omicron BA.2. 

Recently, a UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) study recently revealed that currently as many are 3 hybrid COVID variants are circulating. The two different combinations of Delta and BA.1 are XD and XF. The third is XE.

What are the covid symptoms to watch out for? 

Depending on one's vaccination status and immunity acquired from earlier infections, symptoms and severity of the COVID-19 virus depend from person to person. The symptoms can be mild for some and they can be severe for others. 

Some of the symptoms to watch out for include - fever, sore throat, scratchy throat, cough and cold, skin irritation and discoloration, gastrointestinal distress etc. Some of the symptoms of severe diseases are heart ailment, palpitation, and sometimes the virus can also cause severe nerve diseases. 

What WHO said about recombinant XE?

The World Health Organization (WHO) said in its latest update that the XE recombinant was first detected in the UK on January 19 and more than 600 sequences have been reported and confirmed since then.

“Early-day estimates indicate a community growth rate advantage of 10% as compared to BA.2. However, this finding requires further confirmation," it said.

The Geneva-based UN health agency said that XE belongs to the Omicron variant until significant differences in transmission and disease characteristics, including severity, may be reported.

“WHO continues to closely monitor and assess the public health risk associated with recombinant variants, alongside other SARS-CoV-2 variants, and will provide updates as further evidence becomes available," it said.

What are the other recombinant viruses? 

Apart from XE, two other viruses are XD and XF. 

  • XD is the new name for the French Delta x BA.1 lineage. It contains the Spike protein of BA.1 and the rest of the genome from Delta. It currently comprises several 10s of sequences.
  • XF is a UK Delta x BA.1 lineage. It has the Spike and structural proteins from BA.1 but the 5' part of its genome from Delta. It comprises several tens of sequences currently.




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