LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Health experts say to remain vigilant as new variants of COVID-19 begin to surface.

The latest variant is called Omicron XE or the Frankenstein variant, it received that nickname due to the way it took parts of the two previous omicron variants and rearranged them into a new variant.

Early research shows this variant to be more contagious than both Omicron and Stealth Omicron, as it already accounts for nearly a fifth of new COVID-19 cases nationwide. However, so far doctors say they haven’t seen a rise in hospital patients as a result.

Dr. Erica Gregonis, Chief Medical Officer for Baptist Health Richmond said they haven’t seen any cases of Omicron XE in our area yet, but she said even more covid variants could be possible down the line.

“It’s probably hard to understand why we keep getting all these different variants and you have to remember viruses want to do whatever it can and continue to adjust and adapt to try to survive and that’s what it’s doing, it’s going to keep trying to find different ways to be infective and that’s why we keep getting all these different variants,” said  Dr. Erica Gregonis – Chief Medical Officer Baptist Health Richmond.

Gregonis said wearing a face mask and social distancing where you feel necessary will help keep you protected.

Currently, Stealth Omicron is still the dominant variant across the country.