Brazil confirms first case of new coronavirus variant, XE

variant xe omicron
Illustration: Shutterstock

The Brazilian Health Ministry confirmed on Thursday that the first case of ‘XE’ had been detected. It is a strain derived from Omicron, the product of recombination of BA.1 and BA.2, two sub-lineages of the extremely contagious coronavirus variant that ravaged Brazil at the beginning of 2022

According to the Ministry’s report, the information was confirmed by Brazil’s Butantan Biological Institute. Recombination occurs when someone is simultaneously infected with two or more variants, exposing the body to a mix of the virus’s combined genetic material. The Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) says, however, that this is a natural phenomenon. 

Brazilian experts claim that the amount of data collected so far is insufficient to say whether XE is more contagious than the previously detected coronavirus variants.