World Health Organization (WHO) Warns About New COVID-19 Variant, Omicron XE

Here we go again…

According to early data from British public health officials and the World Health Organization (WHO), a new COVID-19 variant that combines two different omicron strains has been identified in the United Kingdom, and it could be the fastest-spreading COVID variant yet, though experts warn that it is too early to determine whether or how serious a threat the variant poses.

world health organization (who) warns new covid-19 variant, omicron xePhoto via KTLA

According to the U.K. Health Security Agency (UKHSA), the XE variation was first found in England in mid-January and has since been confirmed in more than 600 cases in England, accounting for fewer than 1% of virus samples studied during that time, Forbes reported.

XE is a recombinant virus that contains parts of the original omicron strain, BA.1, as well as the more infectious BA.2 subvariant, popularly known as "stealth omicron," and is effectively a mixture of genetic material from two or more other viruses.

According to preliminary data from the UKHSA and WHO, the XE variant could be 10% more contagious than the BA.2 omicron subvariant, which is already the most contagious COVID variant and one of the most contagious diseases in human history.

world health organization (who) warns new covid-19 variant, omicron xePhoto via Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News

More data will be needed to prove whether XE has a "real growth advantage," according to Susan Hopkins, UKHSA's senior medical adviser because it has exhibited a "varying growth rate" over the time it has been tracked.

Hopkins added that there is little evidence to draw any conclusions about transmissibility, severity, or vaccine effectiveness and that the UKHSA will continue to "closely monitor" the issue.

Ahh, how scary!

Please take care of yourself guys and remember to always follow the SOPs that have been set by the Malaysian government. 

Stay safe!

By: Aishah Akashah Ahadiat