A leading immunologist explains what we know about this hybrid variant

The incidence of Covid-19 is increasing across the country. Existing forms are becoming more difficult to distinguish from the common cold or influenza virus due to generic symptoms, but is the latest Omicron XE recombinant different?

According to Dennis Kenan, a prominent immunologist and founder of Signpost Diagnostics, here is what we know about it so far.

Omicron XE – What is it?

The latest ‘XE’ variant is a combination of two well-known Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 strains, although the latter is currently dominant in the United States and other countries.

According to experts, the new variant Covid XE is a mutation in the Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 strains – and is referred to as “recombinant”.

“This means that the new recombinant variant highlights the features associated with each strain, but not always the more dangerous version.”

When a virus mutates or mutates, the virus becomes a variant.

Omicron, for example, has a large number of mutations and is genetically distinct from its predecessor, Delta.

According to recent data, Omicron has about 50 mutations, most of which are contained in spike proteins, the way the virus first enters human cells.

According to Dennis, the spike protein is the most visible external feature of the virus that the human immune system detects, responds to and uses to make antibodies.

Because of these mutations, unique species can sometimes present with fancy or unusual symptoms.

Omicron XE Symptoms?

Mutations in spike proteins allow the virus to enter some human cells more efficiently; For example, some strains infect the cells of the upper respiratory tract more efficiently than the cells of the lining of the lungs.

Most of the symptoms of the existing Kovid version have been compared to regular colds, and Dennis claims that the Omicron XE is no exception.

He added: “This variant brings slightly different symptoms, which are thought to be like a cold, runny nose and sneezing are the most commonly reported.

“New variant symptoms may include sore throat. Symptoms have changed since the first report of the virus.”

Initially, COVID-19 was associated with only three primary symptoms:

  • A new, or persistent cough
  • Fever
  • Loss or change in your smell or taste

How is it different from Delta and other Omicron variants?

XE is a hybrid of the two now well-known strains of Omicron, where Delta and Omicron are forms of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus caused by Covid-19) that have undergone mutations.

Because of the genetics and the way they affect the infected person, the symptoms of XE are usually different from the symptoms associated with the original Omicron and Delta strain.

With millions more people now vaccinated in the United States, the virus can spread in a very different way than when it first struck the country.

Dennis added: “It should be noted that the symptoms are not only related to the version of the virus but also to the genetics of a subject.

“Both previous exposure to viruses and their tick status can alter symptoms, so it is never safe to suggest a set of indicative symptoms for a particular strain, and this distinction requires testing and sequencing.”

Although it may be difficult to distinguish one strain from another based on symptoms alone, Dennis believes that the best way to tell Covid, except for a common cold, is to continue the test.

He said: “Anyone who is experiencing cold-like symptoms, who is concerned about the possibility of getting Covid-19 and is concerned about spreading the virus among others, should have a PCR or lateral flow test.

“It’s the only way to determine which virus you’re carrying and make sure you’re working in the safest, most intelligent way.”

Image Credit: Getty

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