Symptoms of the New XE Variant Found in The UK

Symptoms of the New XE Variant Found in The UK - welzo

What’s covered?

The new covid-19 variant XE is gaining attention in medical circles. It is a covid-19 variant found in the UK.

Since early 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 175,000 citizens of the UK and infected more than 22 million. The Health Security Agency UKHSA implemented control measures to curb the spread of the disease. But, as the first wave faded away, no enemies emerged on the horizon- the dreadful variants. 

If you are more interested in an overview of COVID-19, then read our comprehensive guide written by DR. Williams, which includes symptoms, causes and testing for COVID-19. 

COVID variants- the new threats

The medical community did not receive the coronavirus pandemic well as the nature of the viral genome, its rapid transmission, and disease characteristics suggested that new variants and sub-variants would soon emerge. Because of these variants, no single vaccine will do the job. Due to these new sub-variants, population immunity, the only realistic hope to end the pandemic, would become a far cry.

As the initial restrictions were lifted, the cases began to rise due to new variants, e.g., Delta (B.1.617.2), Omicron (BA.1 and BA.2), etc... These variants expressed significant differences in transmission and disease characteristics, including disease severity and clinical outcomes. A new class of variants also began to emerge called the ‘recombinant variants. These variants combined the features of two different variants.

XE- A recombinant Omicron variant

How do the recombinant variants form? Such variants occur when two different variants infect the same person. This allows the viruses to interact with each other. A recent WHO report in January 2022 confirmed that a new sub-variant XE had been detected in the UK, which combines the genome of the two omicron strains BA.1 and BA.2.

The recent data showed XE as 10% more transmissible than its parent omicrons. Given the high transmission rate, it is highly likely that you may be exposed to it, and it could replace the dominant variant in the endemic areas. Now how to know if your current infection is due to XE? What could be its symptoms? How do we differentiate it from parent omicrons?

Let's answer these questions one by one.

What are the symptoms of XE variants?

As this Omicron variant is recently emerging (As of May 20, 2022, only 637 cases of Omicron XE have been confirmed), its signs and symptoms are not fully understood as some characters resemble the parent omicrons, but they are considerably milder. The common symptoms noted in the patients are;

Common cold


The majority of the patients reported symptoms resembling the common cold. Most of the Omicron XE variant symptoms, particularly in the vaccinated people, resemble that of the seasonal flu or common cold. These include

  • A running nose
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Phlegm
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances

These symptoms contrast to its parent omicrons, where the usual symptoms are cough, fever, and loss of smell and taste. So, it is highly likely that the XE variant may pass out without causing any serious alarms because you are just used to the symptoms.

New symptoms


As the data on the XE covid variant expanded, many new symptoms were also added to the list. According to NHS (a UK health security agency), the other symptoms in the infected people could be;

  • Feeling of sickness
  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Diarrhoea
  • Sore throat
  • Loss of appetite
  • Body aches
  • Shortened breath
  • Exhaustion and tiredness
  • Headaches

All symptoms may not be present in the same person. However, noting many of them should arouse suspicion.

Symptoms in children


During the initial waves of COVID, a large fraction of the adult population was vaccinated (So more than 90% of UK citizens above the age of 12 are vaccinated). But, the emergence of this new recombinant strain triggered a new fear. It is more transmissible than its parent strains, and its spread is particularly more rapid in non-vaccinated people. As children were not vaccinated, they are particularly susceptible to it.

  • The symptoms in the children are also mild and are mostly related to the upper respiratory tract infection e.g., dry cough, body pains, fever, running nose, and sore throat.

What to do if you have XE variant?

An important thing about XE is its low fatality rates. Your lines of action should be;

Don't panic

The first and foremost thing is to avoid panic. The data from previous findings have confirmed that even if you contract the problem, you are most likely to recover spontaneously, whether you are an adult or a child. Only you need a symptomatic treatment that will keep you going.

You should immediately go for the vaccine without waiting for the infection if you are a child or an adult. If you are a vaccinated adult, there is little chance that you will have severe disease.

Take care of your kids.

If you have children, it's your responsibility to take care of your children and make sure that they are eating well, taking adequate sleep, taking hygienic measures, and having a healthy lifestyle. You shouldn't skip vaccines if they are eligible.

The parents and teachers should ensure that the children at home and at schools practice hand washing and sanitation protocols.


Ever since its first report on January 19, 2022, the XE. The variant has attracted the attention of the medical community. As of today, more than 600 cases have been diagnosed. But the good thing is that it rarely causes severe infection. Mostly, it is a mild infection with spontaneous recovery after mild symptoms. All you have to do is stick to hygiene measures and complete your vaccination schedule as soon as possible. Your physician will prescribe the required symptomatic treatment. Don’t forget to comply with all infection control protocols.

For finding out if you have been infected with coronavirus in the past, take an antibody test.

For a full range of blood tests and medications, visit our Welzo Online Pharmacy Page. For more details, click here.

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