A new sub-variant of Omicron has been detected in the UK, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Government data has shown that overall Covid cases are still declining, with 79,310 testing positive over the past seven days, representing a fall of 39.5% over the previous seven days.

However, the WHO has warned this Omicron variant, called Omicron XE, could be more transmissible than its previous form.

Here's all the info of what we know so far about the new Omicron XE variant.

Daily Echo: Covid cases overall in the UK have been continuing to fall for the last month (PA)Covid cases overall in the UK have been continuing to fall for the last month (PA)

What we know so far about the Omicron XE variant

As reported by The Independent, XE combines genetic characteristics of the Omicron BA.1 and BA.2 variants, in what is known as a “recombinant”.

The WHO released a report last week that said this XE recombinant was first detected in the UK on January 19, and that early tests indicated it could be more transmissible.

It said: “Early-day estimates indicate a community growth rate advantage of 10 per cent as compared to BA.2, however, this finding requires further confirmation.

“XE belongs to the Omicron variant until significant differences in transmission and disease characteristics, including severity, may be reported.”

READ MORENew Covid variant: Deltacron symptoms and what we know

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said on Monday that the most recent data showed XE had a growth rate 9.8% above BA.2.

However, it cautioned that “as this estimate has not remained consistent as new data have been added, it cannot yet be interpreted as an estimate of growth advantage for the recombinant.”

The UKHSA has said that as of March 22, 637 cases of XE had been detected in England.

What are the symptoms of the Omicron XE variant?

It has not been reported that the Omicron XE variant has any new symptoms that previous variants did not already cause.

This would include running noses, sneezing and sore throats, which is more likely than frequent coughing which is what the original strain was more strongly known for.

A message from the Editor

Thank you for reading this article - we appreciate your support in reading the Daily Echo.

Subscribing to the Echo means you have unrestricted access to the latest news, features and Saints coverage - all with an advertising-light website.

You will also have full access to Saintsplus, your new home for Southampton FC tactical analysis, features and much, much more.

Don't take my word for it - subscribe here to see for yourself.

Follow the latest breaking news in the Southampton area by joining our Facebook group - Southampton News - Breaking News and Incidents

Follow the latest court and crime news on our dedicated Facebook group - Hampshire Court and Crime News