As of 5 April 2022, 1,125 cases of XE – a new scumbinant subvariate – have been identified in the UK, an increase from 25 March 637.
Dominic Lipinski | Foot picture | Getty Images
Japan reported its first omicron XE – a new Covid-19 strain was first detected in the UK – just as the submarine has grown in the British case.
The XE variant was found in a 30-year-old woman who arrived at Narita International Airport from the United States on March 26. The woman, whose nationality was not immediately disclosed, was asymptomatic, Japan’s health ministry said Monday.
This is due to almost double the incidence of new strains in Britain, according to the latest figures from the UK Health Security Agency.
As of 5 April, 1,125 cases of XE have been identified in the UK, up from 637 on 25 March. Samples of the first confirmed case are on January 19 of this year, suggesting that it may be prevalent in the population. A few months.
XE has since been identified in Thailand, India and Israel. It is suspected that subsequent Israeli lawsuits may develop independently. The United States has not yet reported any XE cases.
What is omicron XE?
XE is known as “recombinant”, a type of variant that can occur when a person is infected with two or more variants at the same time, resulting in a mixture of their genetic material in the patient’s body.
In the case of the XE, it contains a mix of the earlier highly contagious Omicron BA.1 strains, which appeared in late 2021, and the new “Stealth” BA.2 variant, now the dominant form in the UK.
Such recombinants are not uncommon, occurring several times over the course of time Coronavirus epidemic. However, health experts say it is too early to decide on the severity of the new subvariate or its ability to avoid the vaccine.
“We are continuing to monitor cases of the recombinant XE variant in the UK, which currently represents a very small proportion,” said Mira Chand, director of clinical and emerging infections at UKHSA.
On Sunday, the UK reported 41,469 new covid cases, with a seven-day average of 59,578 cases. As such, the XE is currently responsible for a small percentage of the total covid cases.
How worried should we be?
Preliminary estimates indicate that the XE may be more contagious than the previous strain, which has so far shown a slightly higher growth rate than its predecessor.
However, experts say they hope it will decrease in severity as it spreads more easily. XE has not yet been declared a form of concern.
“XE seems to be moving in the same direction as BA.2, with increased transmissibility in BA.1 but less severe,” Jennifer Horny, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Delaware, told CNBC.
“It simply came to our notice then. [It is] It’s basically a replacement for the same deck of cards, “said Mark Cameron, an associate professor at Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine.
XE contains spikes and structural proteins of the same virus family, i.e. omicron, which means that at least theoretically, omicron should behave as it did before. Existing vaccines and immunity, therefore, should provide some level of protection against infection.
“Recombinants containing spikes and structural proteins from a virus (such as XE or XF) are likely to work in much the same way. [their] Parental virus, “wrote Tom Peacock, a virologist in the Department of Infectious Diseases, Imperial College London. Tweet thread In mid-March. XF refers to another recombinant detected in the UK in February before.
However, other recombinants containing spikes and structural proteins continue to emerge from different virus families. These include the XD submarine, recently discovered in Germany, the Netherlands, and Denmark, which contains delta structural proteins and omikron spike proteins, which the peacock described as “a little more related.”
As such, all new emergencies need to be closely monitored, especially in their early stages, to ensure that they do not develop into something more serious.
“The virus is still able to grow, regenerate and develop a new branch of its family tree,” Cameron said.
“The key takeaway is that for each of these variants and subvariets, the risk of hospitalization and death increases, where vaccination rates seem to be lower, indicating that the vaccine should be effective in reducing the risk of serious illness, including the third dose.” Added Stephanie Silvera, professor of public health at Montclair State University.