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should we worry about the new XE variant, combination between BA.1 and BA.2?

While health restrictions are gradually being lifted in many countries, the spread of Covid-19 remains strong. It is clear that France is no exception to the rule.

And while the WHO remains attentive to the appearance of any new strain linked to Covid-19, a new variant has been detected across the Channel: the XE variant.

Covid-19: what do we know about the XE variant?

It is indeed in the United Kingdom that he began to make a name for himself. According to information released by the British government website – which was subsequently relayed by BFMTV – the variant in question was first spotted there on January 19, 2022.

So far, only 637 cases have been recorded in Britain. Other countries have already reported the presence of the XE variant on their territory. But then, what exactly do we know about it?

If the mixture of the Delta and Omicron variants gave rise to the XD recombination; the XE variant comes from another recombination. Indeed, it is this time the BA.1 and BA.2 variants which are at the origin of the “appearance” of the recombinant XE.

always according to BFMTV, such recombinations occur when an individual is infected with at least two variants at the same time. It is inside his body that the mixing of the genetic apparatus of the variants takes place.

The XE variant: 10% more contagious?

If initial estimates show that this new variant could be 10% more contagious than the BA.2 variant (now the majority in France), WHO specifies that these claims require further research.

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As Susan Hopkins – the UK Health Safety Agency’s chief medical adviser – puts it on Boris Johnson’s government website: “ PAt this time, there is not enough evidence to draw conclusions about its transmissibility, severity, or resistance to vaccines.”.

She also states: Recombinant variants are not uncommon, especially when there are several variants in circulation. Several have been identified since the start of the pandemic. Like other types of variants, most of them will die out rather quickly.”. Case to follow.

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