What is this Omicron XE? Is Omicron XE harmful or contagious, or more dangerous? What are its symptoms? If you have the above questions on your mind, you’ve come to the right place.
This blog talks about almost everything you need to know about the Omicron XE variant. Also, by the end, you will know whether you should be scared or not. So, read in full.
What is Omicron XE?
After the delta variant created a mess, the COVID-19 virus mutated, and the world got Omicron, which was the reason behind the 3rd wave in India. It was also the Omicron variant that led to 90% of the cases reported in the world this year.
However, Omicron had two prominent sub-variants: BA.1 and BA.2. Out of these BA.2 was the one dominant in India during the third wave.
Now, the prominent sub-variants BA.1 and BA.2 knocked their spikes together, swapped their genetic material, and recombined to form Omicron XE. It’s because of this phenomenon Omicron XE is known as the recombinant (recombination of the genetic material) variant. And that’s how XE came to existence.
Initially, the first case of Omicron XE was reported in the UK. However, recently there have been reports of it being detected in South African women (age: 50) who came to Mumbai and in a man (age: 60) from Gujrat.
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Is Omicron XE Contagious?
The Omicron XE variant is believed to spread more rapidly as compared to the delta variant. It’s considered 3 times as contagious as the COVID-19 delta variant. What’s more, the double-time for Omicron is two days which is shorter than the delta variant indicating higher transmissibility.
Although the number of cases in some countries is rising, hospitalizations caused due to the Omicron XE variants are not as many as delta or earlier variants. So, it’s kind of a sigh of relief.
However, research is underway, and scientists & medical professionals are waiting for more cases to be able to understand this variant better. So, concluding anything at this time would be too early.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Omicron XE?
Unlike the original strain of the COVID-19 virus that brought symptoms like coughs, loss of taste and smell, and fever, XE causes:
- Sore Throat
- Runny Nose
- Loss of Appetite
- Fatigue or Exhaustion
- Shortness of Breath
Is Omicron XE Harmful/Dangerous?
The WHO issued a warning against the XE variant after being concerned about its high transmissibility as compared to the other variants. However, fortunately, the rate of hospitalization of people infected with XE is pretty low, which means it’s not as harmful/dangerous as the delta variant.
What’s more, Dr. Kang, a professor at the Christiana Medical College (Vellore), said that vaccinated individuals have no reason to worry about the XE variant. And these factors indicate one thing, and that is: XE, maybe transmissible and contagious, isn’t as dangerous as the previous variants.
However, that never means you should become careless and move around without a mask. While the doctors and scientists find out more about this variant, it’s your moral duty to stay safe and take the required precautions to protect yourself and others from the virus.
What’s the Treatment Like for the XE Variant?
One of the best ways to tackle Omicron XE is by dealing with the symptoms it brings along, provided you’re vaccinated already. For instance, the symptoms of XE are similar to a nasal infection and can be easily treated with the help of antibiotics.
However, there hasn’t been a specific medication or treatment administered for dealing with XE, considering it’s in the initial stages. Stay updated with the news to find out.
Does the Spread of Omicron XE Mean Another COVID Wave is Nearby?
While high transmissibility of Omicron XE is a matter of concern, experts such as Dr. NK Arora (NTAGI Chief) say that Indians need not be worried about it because this variant isn’t causing any serious disorder or spreading rapidly.
As of now, the probability of a new COVID wave isn’t that high. However, according to the restrictions that the government is putting once again, it’s better to stay cautious and take precautions.
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Omicron is producing new variants and will continue to do so. As this is what viruses do, right?
However, as not many cases have been reported in India, there’s nothing to be worried about. Still, it’s recommended that you wear masks and take care of your hygiene to ward off the chances of getting infected.