Cases of fast-spreading new Covid ‘variant of interest’ Eris are on the rise – the 5 ‘red flag’ signs you must know

A NEW strain of Covid has been dubbed an ‘interesting variant’ after causing a spike in some cases.

The EG.5 strain “Eris” is currently circulating in the UK, US, Europe, East Asia and elsewhere, the World Health Organization said.

Covid strain EG.5'Eris' has been classified as an'interesting variant' after causing a surge in some cases


Covid strain EG.5 ‘Eris’ has been classified as an ‘interesting variant’ after causing a surge in some casesPhoto credit: Getty

The fast-spreading variant is now most common in the United States, accounting for 17 percent of cases.

Latest data shows it is the second most common strain in the UK, accounting for 14.6 per cent of cases, according to the UKHSA.

According to the Zoe Health Study, the total number of Covid infections is believed to have increased from 606,656 on July 4 to 785,980 on July 27.

The WHO found that Eris yielded 30 percent in China and also led to increases in South Korea and Canada.

Infections were also found in Japan, Australia, France, Portugal and Spain.

Although the variant is responsible for hospitalizations and cases worldwide, experts say it is no more deadly than others.

A WHO spokesman said: “Although EG.5 has shown increased prevalence, growth benefits and immune escape properties, no changes in disease severity have been reported to date.”

“While a concurrent increase in the proportion of EG.5 and Covid hospitalizations has been observed in countries such as Japan and the Republic of Korea, no associations have been established between these hospitalizations and EG.5.”

“However, due to its growth advantage and immune-escape properties, EG.5 may lead to an increase in case incidence and become dominant in some countries or even globally.”

A more comprehensive assessment of the risk posed by EG.5 is required, it said.

Covid has killed more than 6.9 million people worldwide since the pandemic broke out in 2020, with more than 768 million confirmed cases since the virus emerged.

The WHO ended the global emergency status for Covid in May this year.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead for Covid, said EG.5 is more transmissible but no more serious than other Omicron variants.

She said, “We are not seeing any change in the severity of EG.5 compared to other Omicron sublines that have been in circulation since late 2021.”

What are the five “red flag” symptoms of Eris?

According to the ZOE study, Eris is a strain of Omicron that has five distinctive traits.

These are:

  1. Runny nose
  2. Headache
  3. fatigue (mild or severe)
  4. Sneeze
  5. sore throat

Aila Slisco

Aila Slisco is a Dailynationtoday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Aila Slisco joined Dailynationtoday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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