XE variant of Covid-19 in India: To worry or not to worry?

Published on: 7 April 2022, 13:00 pm IST

Among the hullabaloo around the new XE variant of Covid-19, here’s what we know about its ‘first case’ in Mumbai.

Shifa Khan
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Covid-19
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The country was abuzz with reports of the first case of the XE variant of Covid-19 reported from Mumbai on Wednesday. In the first case in India, the hybrid version of two omicron strains BA.1 and BA.2 were detected in a 50-year-old woman. In February, the woman traveled to Mumbai from South Africa, according to a statement issued by Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).

“The woman patient was quarantined after a month of diagnosis in March. She has been asymptomatic with no comorbidities,” said BMC.

As expected, the report struck panic waves in the country sending people into a frenzy. However, within hours of this report of detection of the first case of the XE variant of coronavirus in Mumbai, the Ministry of Health said that the current evidence is not sufficient to suggest the presence of the new variant.

The infection count in Mumbai is a whopping 10,58,185. Mumbai reported 56 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, which denotes a three-fold rise from the previous tally.

According to the statistics shared by the World Health Organization (WHO), the XE recombinant (BA.1-BA.2) was first detected on January 19 in the UK. Since then, more than 600 sequences of the virus have been confirmed. The WHO stated that further data is required before more can be said about the mutation.

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Coronavirus leads to various medical complications. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How bigger is the risk of XE variant of Covid-19?

The XE variant of coronavirus is a mutation of Omicron strains. The early indications are alarming as they suggest it to be 10 percent more transmissible than other Omicron mutations.

However, the infection rate and its risk depends on one’s vaccination status and immunity acquired from earlier infections. The severity and symptoms of the XE variant depend from person to person.

coronavirus research
XE variant of Covid-19 needs to be tackled carefully. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

What are the symptoms of XE variant of Covid-19?

Furthermore, symptoms to watch out for include sore throat, fever, cough and cold, scratchy throat, gastrointestinal distress, skin irritation, and discoloration. Severe symptoms like palpitations and heart ailments are also associated with coronavirus.

Dizziness and fatigue are other common symptoms that are experienced by people affected with the new Omicron variant. But surprisingly, the most common symptoms of Covid-19 such as the loss of smell and taste are rarely reported in patients infected with the XE variant.

Shifa Khan Shifa Khan

An aesthete and a skincare junkie, Shifa spends most of her time cooking delish food while wearing a sheet mask. At HealthShots, she creates high-octane content that can leave you all a little intrigued!

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