According to the World Health Organization’s latest report, a new Covid variant was found in the UK. According to the health agency, the new mutant, called Omicron XE, may be more transmissible than any COVID-19 strain.
The Omicron XE strain is a recombinant strain, which is a mutation of the BA’1 and BA.2 strains. When a patient is infected by multiple variants of Covid, recombinant mutations occur. According to a paper published in the British Medical Journal, the variants mix up their genetic material during replication and form a new mutation.
According to the World Health Organization, the new mutation Omicron XE is 10 percent more transmissible than the BA.2 variant of Omicron.
Early estimates indicate a 10 percent advantage in community growth rate when compared to BA.2, but further confirmation is needed,” the global health body stated.
The British health agency said that Omicron XE was first detected on January 19 and 637 cases have already been reported.
At the same time, the BA.2 subvariant of Omicron is spreading rapidly across the world. 4.9 million people in the UK were estimated to have had Covid-19 in the week ending March 26, or 600,000 more than the previous week, according to the latest survey by the Office for National Statistics.
A surge in Covid cases was also reported in the US and China due to the BA.2 variant. Nearly 104,000 domestic Covid infections were reported in China in March, with 90 percent of the cases located in Shanghai and northeastern Jilin.