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The new XE variant of Covid: incubation period and symptoms

More data is becoming known about the new variant of Covid-19 detected in the United Kingdom, of which cases are already beginning to appear in Spain: XE. It is actually a recombinant of other already known strains, that is, the combination in this case of the omicron variant (BA.1) and its sublineage BA.2, better known as ‘stealthy omicron’.

Opinions about its impact are disparate. While there are experts who consider that it should not pose a threat and that there could be a peak in infections but without cause for concern, the World Health Organization (WHO) has a contrary view since it believes that this strain could be up to a 10% more contagious than the others.

Professionals from the United Kingdom Health Security Agency have studied this new sublineage and have determined that although it may be more transmissible than the previous ones, there is not enough evidence for now and it is still too early to establish statements about its transmissibility, severity or effectiveness. of the vaccine.

For now, it is known that the XE has many similarities with the Ómicron variant. First, its incubation period is established at three days from infection (with the Delta or Alpha variants, this period was about five days).

Secondly, and according to the first cases detected, the symptoms would also be similar: mucus, nasal congestion, headache, moderate or high fatigue, sneezing, fever, general malaise and lack of appetite. Other less common symptoms could be night sweats, muscle aches and nausea.

In the Alpha or Delta variant, in addition to headache, sneezing, fever and runny nose, other characteristic symptoms were loss of smell or taste, however, anosmia and ageusia were reported to a much lesser extent in Omicron infections.

The symptoms of XE usually last between four and five days, a period also shorter than the cases of the Delta and Alpha variant, where the duration lasted on average seven days.