The battle against COVID-19 is still going on. The virus is mutating, which results in the advent of various coronavirus variants. A new covid variant, Eris, has gained visibility. It is also known as EG.5. It is the same omicron subvariant that led to the emergence of the “kraken” variant. In April, there were less than 1% of cases of EG.5 in the US, but now it has anticipated around 17.3% of new US COVID-19 cases, according to the CDC.
Hospitalization due to COVID-19 infection is arising in several parts of the world, such as .S., Europe, and Asia, and the reason behind it is EG.5 “Eris” coronavirus. Want to know more about this variant and its symptoms? You can check out this blog. This blog has explained everything about the omicron’s subvariant, Eris.
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When was Eris first seen?
According to the UK Health Security Agency, Eris got into the limelight as an indicator on July 3, 2023, due to increased reports, especially in Asia. In the second week of July 2023, around 11.8% of UK sequences were Eris, which has risen to 14.6% of cases.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) designated EG.5.1 as an omicron subvariant and added it to the list.
What are the symptoms of Omicron Subvariant Eris?
As we mentioned above, Eris is a subvariant of omicron. The symptoms of infection of Eris are similar to those caused by other strains. Here are the most common symptoms:
1. Runny Nose:
A sensation of liquid discharge from nasal passages, often called a runny nose, has been observed in individuals. This condition involves the presence of fluids exiting the nose, possibly causing discomfort.
Reports of discomfort in the head area have surfaced, commonly known as a headache. It can range from mild to intense pain, affecting daily routines for some.
3. Fatigue (Mild or Severe):
Instances of heightened tiredness, varying in intensity, have been noted. This state of fatigue might lead to reduced energy and motivation levels.
Involuntary expulsions of air through the nose and mouth, known as sneezing, have been documented. Such reflexive actions could contribute to general unease.
5. Sore Throat:
Some individuals have reported sensations of irritation or scratchiness in the throat, commonly called a sore throat. The discomfort levels associated with this might fluctuate.
How is ‘Omicron Subvariant Eris’ spreading?
As per WHO reports on August 8, EG.5 has already spread to more than 50 countries. It is the fastest-spreading COVID-19 subvariant. Hospitalization due to COVID-19 has increased up to 40% from the recent trough recorded in June. Yet, as CDC data indicates, they remain over 90% below the peak levels witnessed during the Omicron outbreak in January 2022.
Significant growth in the virus amount detected in wastewater and the number of weekly COVID-19 treatment prescriptions for Paxlovid over the past month has occurred.
What do experts say about the new covid variant?
The Independent Sage members believed the UK is undoubtedly entering another wave propelled by Omicron subvariants, weakening immunity, and bad weather conditions. However, the variant spread may gradually decelerate in the summer holidays. In summer, school gets close, and people travel abroad, which may reduce its spread.
A COVID expert stated that it’s already been 18 months from the last vaccine people took, and most individuals had the last infection several months back. Therefore, we can imagine why the wave will grow faster in September.
When will the new booster be available?
Companies like Pfizer (PFE.N)/BioNTech SE (22UAy.DE), Novavax (NVAX.O), and Moderna (MRNA.O) have created new vaccine versions to target the omicron subvariant called XBB.1.5. These updated vaccines match the different forms of the virus that are currently spreading.
EG.5 and XBB.1.5 are similar, but this new sub-variant has one difference in its spike protein, and the vaccine targets this mutation.
XBB.1.5 got the spotlight in late 2022. According to the CDC, it was still accountable for 10% of COVID-19 infections as of August 5. The CDC Director expected the new vaccine to be available in the US in the third or fourth week of September. They also mentioned that the changes in the viruses we observe haven’t made them resistant to our Covid-19 vaccine, medicines, or tests. Our tools are still effective even as the virus evolves.
Scientists are Keeping an eye on another variant called Pirola
Along with Eris, there are other coronavirus variants like BA.2.86 scientists are watching. Scientists recently identified this virus and nicknamed it Pirola.
BA.2.86 isn’t prevalent yet and is detected only by a few people worldwide, including four in the US. According to the CDC, this variant has many mutations, which means it is more resistant to current vaccines.
Due to continuous mutation and the emergence of new COVID variants, our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing. The virus’s unexpected behavior indicates that it will not end anytime soon. Knowing about these variants’ symptoms and how they can be transmitted can guide public health responses and safeguard communities.
By staying informed, following recommended preventive measures, and actively participating in vaccination efforts, we can collectively work towards minimizing the impact of EG.5 and future variants. Remember, our actions today will affect the trajectory of the pandemic tomorrow.