According to the World Health Organization‘s most recent report, a novel Covid variant has been discovered in the United Kingdom. The new mutation, known as XE, may be more transmissible than any other strain of COVID-19, according to the health organisation.

XE is a “recombinant” strain resulting from a mutation of the BA.1 and BA.2 Omicron strains. When a patient is infected with numerous Covid variants, recombinant mutations occur. The variants mix up their genetic material during replication, resulting in a new mutation, according to UK experts in a paper published in the British Medical Journal.

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According to the World Health Organization, the novel mutation XE looks to be 10% more transmissible than the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron.

“Early-day estimates indicate a community growth rate advantage of 10 percent as compared to BA.2, however, this finding requires further confirmation,” the global health organisation went on to say.

According to the UK’s health authorities, XE was discovered on January 19, and 637 cases of the new form have been documented so far.

Meanwhile, the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron is rapidly spreading over the world. According to the latest Office for National Statistics survey, 4.9 million persons in the UK had Covid-19 in the week ending March 26, which is 600,000 more than the previous week.

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XE is the moniker given to the recombinant strain in question. The UKHSA, the country’s health security organisation, is keeping an eye on three recombinant variants: XD, XE, and XF. The XD is a hybrid of BA.1, which is a sublineage of the Omicron variety that is active in France, Denmark, and Belgium. The XF is a recombinant version of the Delta and BA.1, but it is only available in the United Kingdom.

The XE variation is of concern, according to the UKHSA, because it is a recombinant of two Omicron sublineages, BA.1 and BA.2. Both sublineages have led waves of infection in various regions of the world, spreading quicker from continent to continent than any prior strains known to science.

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Only in the United Kingdom have cases of XE been discovered. More than 600 persons have been identified as having this recombinant lineage, according to the UKHSA.