New COVID XE variant found in UK

Courtesy of

Victoria Tirado, Business manager

A new fast-spreading adaptation has been plaguing the UK for the past weeks. The XE strand has been found in Thailand and New Zealand. Researchers are still unsure how dangerous and contagious the new alteration is. XE is a mix between the original strand of the coronavirus and BA.2 – another variant of the coronavirus. According to researchers at Harvard, 9.8 percent is the growth rate of this new strand – 3.5 percent greater than BA.2. There have been 700 reported cases so far of XE. Even with this information, scientists have told people to stay calm because XE has not caused any deaths yet. As COVID evolves, more hybrids will come into existence infecting more people who are at risk. This variant is a dominant strand meaning people are more immune to it due to the vaccine being similar to this alteration of the coronavirus. Moreover, on social media, the term “zombie variant” has surfaced because of different strands mixing together. 

          Turning to the positive news, scientists are able to detect new variants of COVID more easily meaning scientists can develop new vaccines for these strands quickly and efficiently. In the beginning, according to the National Institute of Health, all strands were similar to each other and scientists were unable to distinguish them; however, now the variants have glaring differences and they are able to pinpoint them more easily. At the moment the different COVID variations are the following: XA, XB, XC and continues on to the rest of the alphabet ending in  XS. Even though it may seem daunting at first many of these alternative forms of COVID have only been diagnosed a couple of times. Delta and Omicron are the most common types; these variants are being watched including COVID XE. Furthermore, researchers have expounded that to prevent the spread of the virus the best solution is to limit contact with those who are infected and to wear a mask. Overall, scientists state that the majority of people except for senior citizens and those with heart failure should not be worried about this new strand of COVID. In the future, there will be more variants, but people should not panic.