Eris: New COVID-19 coronavirus variant detailed
The new EG.5.1 Covid variant, dubbed Eris, is spreading faster than other recent variants, according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC).
As of last Tuesday, August 15, there had been 94 Eris cases confirmed but experts shared this is likely to be an underestimation as many people are not reporting having the virus.
The descendant of Omicron was also classified as a variant of concern by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).
The ECDC said it is “likely” the variant will contribute to increased transmission in the coming weeks.
The good news is that cases are unlikely to reach the previous peaks observed earlier during the COVID-19 pandemic.
READ MORE New Covid variant Eris is now dominant says CDC – symptoms to look out for
Furthermore, there’s currently no evidence this lineage spreads faster or causes more serious illness than previous strains.
Dr Johannes Uys, a General Practitioner (GP) at Broadgate General Practice, said: “The World Health Organisation says [Eris] doesn’t seem to be any scarier than the other variants.
“They said, and I quote, meds comparable to nexium ‘There is no evidence of an increase in disease severity directly associated with EG.5’.”
Despite the new variant currently not holding the prime spot in the UK, symptom awareness remains crucial.
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Dr Uys said: “It’s worth noting that the symptoms of the Eris Covid variant are quite similar to those of the widely discussed Omicron variant.
“The main symptoms associated with Eris include a sore throat, a runny or blocked nose, sneezing, a cough without phlegm, a headache, a hoarse voice, and muscle aches and pains.
“Additionally, some individuals may experience an altered sense of smell.”
However, there are three symptoms that seem to be especially common with the new strain, including:
- Sensitive sinuses
- Stuffy nose.
The doctor added: “Many people have mentioned sneezing more frequently than usual. Additionally, some individuals have experienced sensitive sinuses and a stuffy nose.
“These symptoms can add to the overall discomfort that comes with respiratory illnesses.”
Furthermore, tell-tale signs that were dominant at the beginning of the pandemic, including shortness of breath, loss of smell and fever, are no longer that common.
“While these symptoms can still occur, they are not as commonly reported as they were with previous variants,” Dr Uys concluded.
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