The effects and repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic still continue to send chills down the spine. And just when it begins to feel like the struggle is over, the tremors of this virus are felt again in the form of new variants, this time being the XE coronavirus strain.
According to WHO, the recombinant variant continues to spark concerns as it could be 10 percent more contagious than the other variants so far. XE is a recombinant which means it is a mutation of BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron strains, that occurs when a patient is infected by multiple Covid variants.
Facts About the new XE COVID variant
- According to the Chief Medical Advisor at the UK Health Security agency, the recombinant variants die rather quickly in comparison to the other variants yet there is not enough evidence to state more than that.
- There are signs of community transmission of the XE variant in the UK but the cases still remain to be below 1 percent of the total Covid cases in the entire country.
- The first XE variant Covid case was detected on the 19th of January in the UK, and since then there has been a rise of 600 cases throughout the country.
- The XE variant has the ability to evade detection which is why the growth of 9.8 percent over that of BA.2 has been observed in recent studies.
- Amongst the other few countries that have detected this variant are New Zealand and Thailand.
- WHO states that until severe differences are reported between the disease characteristics, transmission, and severity, XE is believed to belong to the Omicron variant.
- No evidence states that XE is any more severe than the other variants of Omicron.
- WHO notifies that until now, three hybrid or recombinant viruses have been detected namely the XD, XF, and XE, out of which XD and XF are combinations of Delta and Omicron, while XE is the hybrid strain of two Omicron subvariants.
The first case of XE coronavirus variant in India was detected today in Mumbai. According to the latest reports, the patients do not exhibit severe symptoms up till now. The patient has a foreign travel history of traveling from South Africa in the month of February and tested COVID positive on February 27th.
According to State surveillance officer Dr. Pradip Awate, the lady tested positive for COVID-19, and her lab sample was referred to Kasturba Hospital central laboratory for whole-genome sequencing, which was found to be a new XE variant in the initial sequencing. On the second test, the lady was asymptomatic and tested negative.
The detection claim of the XE variant was made by the BMC to which the central agencies chose to disagree.
The Maharashtra Government states that GISAID (global genomic data) confirmed XE, while INSACOG (the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium) will go for another round of genomic sequencing at the NIBMG (National Institute of Biomedical Genomics) West Bengal to confirm the same.
Symptoms of COVID 19 XE Variant
COVID 19 symptoms vary from one person to the other in terms of severity which depends upon the vaccination status, immunity, and previous medical history. A common set of signs and symptoms to watch out for XE coronavirus variant are:
- Cough and cold
- Scratchy throat
- Skin irritation
- Stomach discomfort
- Gastrointestinal distress
- Respiratory issues
- Skin rash or discoloration
COVID 19 XE Variant Treatment
According to the WHO, vaccination can significantly contribute to containing the effects and symptoms of this variant. Yet following a few simple precautions and measures will only help you in avoiding the contraction of this virus. These steps include:
- Continue wearing a mask at all times when outdoors, especially when in public places.
- Practice social distancing in public places and markets.
- Avoid attending overcrowded events or places.
- A booster dose can help in protecting you from the risk of the new variant and is highly recommended.
- Building strong immunity with herbal decoctions, kadhas, and steam inhalation can make a great difference to your overall wellbeing.
- Including garlic, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, and cumin in your diet by adding to your food while cooking will also help in boosting your immunity.
- Practicing yoga and breathing exercises like pranayama will help you to fight against the virus.
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