Dr George Christos

covid19 & other Infectious diseases

What is Omicron XE? Should we worry?

List of Omicron subvariants

From what I know Omicron XE is some hybrid on BA.1 and BA.2 subvariants of omicron. The Omicron variants are the most infectious variants so far but their case fatality rates seem to be quite low 0.1 to 0.3%. There is still some uncertainly with BA.2. It may be more virulent. I have been unable to make a decision either way in the last 2-3 months.

Plus Omicron has already as of today 54 subvariants.

I would be more concerned with ‘deltacron’, which is still active after 3 months, or possibly a new subvariant (or recombinant with the delta variant), that has the L452R gene mutation on the spike protein that we saw with delta. I am unsure at this stage if this is a subvariant with this extra mutation or if it is a recombinant variant of BA.2 and delta.

In any case I would be more concerned about these omicron + delta recombinants rather than Omicron XE, at this stage.

With 200 million people actively infected at any time the chances of new variants and recombination is now a huge problem. We cannot bring this number down as most of those infected are asymptomatic. The fact that so many of the infected people are vaccinated means that the virus is in a perfect environment where it can learn to happily mutate against any vaccine induced immunity. This will render all vaccines useless in time.

The other problem is that since the herd immunity is impossible even with 100% vaccination and/or natural immunity, there is no way around this issue now. These large vaccine pools were generated by vaccine complacency of the vaccinated but now that the R naught value of Omicron is like 40, there is nothing we can do about it.


This article says the XE variant can easily be mistaken as the common cold.


Leave a Reply