New Variant Eris (EG.5.1) Emerging in UK Raises Covid Cases

  • 08 Aug 2023

A new Covid variant, EG.5.1 or Eris, of the Omicron lineage has been identified in the UK and is contributing to an increase in Covid cases, particularly among the elderly population.

Key Points:

  • Emergence of Eris Variant: The Eris variant (EG.5.1), a member of the Omicron lineage, has surfaced in the UK and is causing a rise in Covid cases, notably among the elderly.
  • Influence on Cases: Currently, 1 out of every 10 Covid cases in the UK can be attributed to the Eris variant, which is associated with an increase in hospitalization rates, particularly among older individuals.
  • Not a Variant of Concern: Although Eris is leading to a surge in cases, it has not yet been classified as a variant of concern by health authorities.
  • Faster Spread: Eris is characterized by its rapid transmission rate, spreading more quickly than the original Covid-19 virus.
  • Severity and Lethality: Experts stress that there is no evidence suggesting that EG.5.1 is more lethal than previous strains.
  • Reason for Case Increase: The rise in cases may be attributed to waning immunity from previous infections or vaccinations, emphasizing the importance of booster shots to enhance defense against the virus.
  • Symptoms of Eris Variant: Similar to previous variants, Eris presents with common Covid symptoms, including running nose, sneezing, cough, fever, and fatigue (mild or severe depending on the individual's constitution).
  • Consistent Preventive Measures: While the emergence of new variants requires vigilance, the treatment and preventive measures remain consistent.
  • Unvaccinated individuals should prioritize getting vaccinated, and booster shots should be administered as recommended.
  • Isolation and testing for symptomatic individuals are essential to control transmission.
  • Impact on Schools: With the resumption of full-scale school activities, the potential for increased cases exists; however, the connection between this wave and hospitalization rates among the younger population remains uncertain.