All the symptoms of new Omicron XE strain as it infects over 1,170 people

The Omicron XE sub variant of coronavirus is likely to soon be dominant in the UK as cases reach 1,179 and first symptoms are reported

Vaccines are still thought to be effective against Omicron XE

The symptoms of a new more infectious strain of coronavirus which could soon be the dominant strain have been revealed.

So far Omicron XE, an amalgamation of previous Omicron strains, has infected at least 1,179 people in the UK.

Those with the sub variant Omicron XE have reported similar symptoms to those experienced with previous strains.

These include:

  • a sore throat
  • fatigue
  • sneezing
  • A runny nose

It’s thought to be at least 10% more transmissible than the current dominant Omicron BA.2, which in turn spread quicker than Omicron BA.1, which was rampant over Christmas.

There have been 1,179 confirmed Omicron XE cases



But the signs suggest it will be no more harmful, with hospitalizations remaining low and vaccines seeming to work.

Two jabs aren’t enough but boosters prove effective against the strain.

In the past week new cases fell to 185,625, down 6%, hospitalizations were down 14% but deaths rose by almost 20%, which is down to previously rising case numbers. It is not clear how much the four-day Bank Holiday impacted those figures.

The World Health Organization said: “Early-day estimates indicate a community growth rate advantage [for XE] of 10 per cent as compared to BA.2, however this finding requires further confirmation.

“XE belongs to the Omicron variant until significant differences in transmission and disease characteristics, including severity, may be reported.”

Head of the British Medical Association’s GP committee in Northern Ireland told the Independent: “The early signs are that it is going to be very transmissible so it will probably become the dominant strain again.

“Again the early signs from elsewhere are that it’s not causing any more serious illness and that the vaccine is protecting people.

“So even though it will most likely become dominant it hopefully won’t cause any significant problems.”

Symptoms so far have broadly been the same as previous coronavirus strains



XE is a jumble of BA.1 an BA.2 and while recent estimates suggest it spreads 10% faster than BA.2 the UK Health Security Agency previously put that figure at 12.6%.

Most cases have so far been recorded in London and the south east as well as the east of England and scientists are continuing to monitor it before making more definite conclusions about its severity.

BA.2 still accounts for more than 90% of cases in the UK and health chiefs are also monitoring two other sub variants, although both are of little concern.

BA.4 has been detected in England, Scotland, South Africa, Botswana and Denmark but its prevalence in the UK is low and cases seem mild. The closely linked BA.5 has not been found here.

There have been around 40 cases of XF but none since mid-February and there is no thought to be community transmission. There have been no cases of XD found while confirmed global cases stand at around 50.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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