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State Lab: Omicron variant known as ‘XE’ detected in Hawaii

The COVID variant was first found in the United Kingdom. The DOH has found just one case of XE in Hawaii so far.
Published: Apr. 14, 2022 at 4:07 PM HST|Updated: Apr. 15, 2022 at 4:32 AM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The state Department of Health has detected a subvariant of the Omicron strain known as “XE” in Hawaii.

The COVID variant was first found in the United Kingdom.

The DOH has found just one case of XE in Hawaii so far.

Cases have also been found in Canada, India, Thailand and Japan.

A Department of Health spokesperson said that while XE seems to be more transmissible than the original Omicron strain, they are still looking into the significance of the variant.

“It remains to be seen whether we will see expansion of this variant over time. There is still a lot to learn about XE. Right now, we are seeing some signals internationally that XE may expand more rapidly than other Omicron strains,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Sarah Kemble.

“We have not seen evidence that it causes more severe disease, or that it is more likely to cause breakthrough infections, but these are the key factors we will continue to watch.”

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