The United Kingdom Health Agency has released new figures of active covid cases. Almost 1,300 cases of a new variant of Covid have been found in the UK.
One thousand two hundred ninety-three cases of V-22APR-02 have been found in England, and one has been found in Northern Ireland, according to UKHSA.
The new variant has been recorded on the UKHSA update for the first time. V-22APR-02 is the UK’s official designation for a variant previously named Omicron XE.
Omicron XE is one of three ‘recombinants’ the UKHSA has been investigating. Recombinants occur when two strains of Covid combine to create a new variant.
The UKHSA has been investigating variants XF, XE and XD. XE is a combination of two strains of Omicron – BA.1 and BA.2. XE was first detected in the UK on January 19 this year.
Professor Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Advisor, UKHSA, said:”Recombinant variants are not an unusual occurrence, particularly when there are several variants in circulation, and several have been identified throughout the pandemic to date. As with other kinds of variants, most will die off relatively quickly.
“This particular recombinant, XE, has shown a variable growth rate, and we cannot yet confirm whether it has a true growth advantage. So far, there is not enough evidence to conclude transmissibility, severity or vaccine effectiveness.
“UKHSA will continue to monitor the situation closely as a matter of routine, as we do all data relating to SARS-CoV-2 variants both in the UK and internationally.”
A small number of cases of XF were found in the Uk, although it seems to have died off in February. No cases of XD have been found in the country, But XE appears to be spreading – according to the latest data – with case numbers doubling in a month.