India Today



➘ A recombinan­t strain is not unusual: Viruses evolve in order to overcome the defences of a body. If a person gets infected by two strains, a third strain, such as XE, can emerge

➘ Reinfectio­n can happen: The XE variant has mutations that help it overcome previously­acquired immunity. And so individual­s can get Covid again, including those vaccinated. However, vaccines help prevent hospitalis­ation and death

➘ Symptoms are mild, but Long Covid remains a concern: Fever, body ache and mild upper respirator­y infection are the common symptoms of XE so far, but its long-term impact remains unknown. Reports include anxiety, allergies, persisting weakness, hormonal changes, hair fall and lasting bodyache

➘ Children not at greater risk so far: Even though they haven’t been vaccinated, so far there hasn’t been a significan­t rise in the severity of the disease in children


--It is an antiviral drug that is being manufactur­ed by the Hyderabad-based Hetero pharma group for the Indian market

--Studies have shown it to be 89% effective in preventing hospitalis­ation and death. It is FDA-approved and strongly recommende­d by WHO.

--If prescribed by a doctor, it needs to be taken within five days from the onset of symptoms. The tablet has to be given in three doses (two tablets of nirmatrelv­ir and one of ritonavir) taken together, twice daily for five days

--It is made up of nirmatrelv­ir, which stops the virus from replicatin­g, and ritonavir, which slows down nirmatrelv­ir’s breakdown so that the drug stays in the body for a longer time in high concentrat­ion

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