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U.K. Detects New COVID-19 Variant

By NAM News Room

The new omicron variant, known as XE, has been discovered in the U.K., according to CNBC.

XE variant: The XE variant is a “recombinant” variant made up of the highly infectious Omicron BA.1 and the newer Omicron BA.2 strains.

  • It has been detected in 637 people so far, according to the U.K. Health Security Agency.

What it means: Health authorities say that there is still not enough information about the XE variant to draw conclusions about its transmissibility or severity.

The timeline: “The earliest confirmed XE case in Britain has a specimen date of Jan. 19 of this year, suggesting it could have been in circulation in the population for several months. It has also been detected beyond the U.K. in Thailand.”

U.K. rates surge: 4.9 million people, or 1 in 13, were infected with COVID-19 in the U.K as of March 26. In the last week hospitalizations in the U.K. have risen by over 7% to more than 16,500.

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