Eris was classified as a variant on July 31 after its prevalence was recorded in the country due to increasing cases internationally, particularly in Asia…reports Asian Lite News
Covid is back in the news again. A new variant, EG.5.1, which has descended from the rapidly spreading Omicron, has put health officers in the UK on their toes. The variant EG.5.1, nicknamed Eris, was first flagged in the UK last month and is now spreading quickly in the country.
The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said EG.5.1, which has been nicknamed Eris, makes up one in seven new COVID cases, the report said. The latest data suggests it now accounts for 14.6% of cases – the second most prevalent in the UK, Sky News reported.
“COVID-19 case rates continued to increase this week compared to our previous report. 5.4% of 4,396 respiratory specimens reported through the Respiratory DataMart System were identified as COVID-19. This is compared to 3.7% of 4,403 from the previous report,” the UKHSA said in a report.
Eris was classified as a variant on July 31 after its prevalence was recorded in the country due to increasing cases internationally, particularly in Asia.
“EG.5.1 was first raised as a signal in monitoring on July 3, 2023, as part of horizon scanning due to increasing reports internationally, particularly in Asia,” the UKHSA said.
“It was subsequently raised from a signal in monitoring to a variant V-23JUL-01 on July 31, 2023, due to the increasing number of genomes in UK data, and continued growth internationally. Declaring this lineage as a variant will allow further detailed characterisation and analysis,” it said.
“We continue to see a rise in COVID-19 cases in this week’s report. We have also seen a small rise in hospital admission rates in most age groups, particularly among the elderly. Overall levels of admission still remain extremely low and we are not currently seeing a similar increase in ICU admissions. We will continue to monitor these rates closely,” said Dr Mary Ramsay, UKHSA’s Head of Immunisation.
“Regular and thorough hand washing helps protect you from COVID-19 and other bugs and viruses. If you have symptoms of a respiratory illness, we recommend staying away from others where possible,” she said.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) started tracking the EG.5.1 variant just over two weeks ago when WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said though people are better protected by vaccines and prior infection, countries should not let down their guard.
As the UK grapples with the rapid spread of the Eris variant, health authorities, and experts are closely monitoring the situation and advising the public to take necessary precautions to limit its transmission.