(AP) — The Hawaiʻi state Department of Health says a COVID-19 omicron variant hybrid called XE has been detected in Hawaiʻi. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the department’s laboratories division confirmed one case of XE in its latest variant report. The hybrid contains genetic material from both BA.1 and BA.2 variants. The department found it in a sample collected last month. The XE subvariant is believed to be about 10% more transmissible than BA.2, which itself is about 30% more contagious than the original omicron. It was first detected in the United Kingdom. Epidemiologists say XE doesn’t appear to have more severe effects than other versions of the virus.
© copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved