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Montevideo, December 2nd 2022 - 20:29 UTC

 

 

Brazil records first case of COVID-19 due to XE variant

Friday, April 8th 2022 - 09:24 UTC
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A 39-year-old patient in the Brazilian city of São Paulo has been determined to arguably be the first in the region with the Omicron XE variant of coronavirus.

The fully vaccinated man has mild symptoms but “remains under monitoring by the state and municipal health authorities of São Paulo”, the State's Health Secretariat explained through the Butantan Institute, a research center in the areas of biology and biomedicine.

The diagnosis was confirmed after genetic analysis of a sample taken March 7, it was also reported.

Brazilian authorities have yet again underlined “the importance of maintaining the complete vaccination schedule to prevent the spread of new variants.”

The Omicron XE type is a hybrid of strains BA.1 and BA.2 and was first identified on 19 January in the United Kingdom, after which more than 700 cases emerged worldwide.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Health of the city of Buenos Aires, Fernán Quirós, said Thursday that the XE variant would “arrive soon.” He also explained that after the wave of the Omicron variant between January and February with almost 140,000 positive cases per day, “we are now going through a moment of very low viral circulation, one of the lowest in the whole series.”

However, Quirós pointed out that an increase in the number of cases was being observed in other parts of the world, driven by the new lineages of Omicron.

“These new variants of Omicron such as BA.2 and also the new genomic combination variants of the virus such as XE naturally increase contagion because they are more transmissible and partially elude the vaccine,” Quirós explained.

However, in “well-vaccinated societies” the new cases are rarely fatal. Therefore, Quirós foresees that the increase in infections “will not be linked to serious or significant waves of cases.”

“To date, there is no evidence of significant differences between the original Omicron and BA.1, which has already entered our country; or BA.2, which has already been detected in the City,” he added.

“The XE variant is nothing more than a subvariant of the Omicron family”, added Quirós about the new subtype warned about by the World Health Organization (WHO). And he remarked that, although this new variant has not yet been detected in the country, “it will surely be here soon.”

Read also: Scientists now watching “recombinant” lineages of SARS-CoV-2

 

Categories: Health & Science, Brazil.

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