New Strain of COVID, 'Eris,' Is Surging

Due to various parts of the country reporting the virus's first surge in months, the CDC determined that the EG.5 variant presently accounts for the bulk of new COVID-19 infections countrywide.

The WHO is concerned about yet another new strain of COVID-19 variant linked to increased hospitalizations overseas. The SARS-CoV-2 variation EG.5.1, also known as Eris, which has swiftly spread throughout the United States and the United Kingdom, has been added to the WHO's list of SARS-CoV-2 variant monitoring strains.

As of August 4, it was anticipated that EG.5 would account for 17.3% of all COVID-19 cases nationwide, up from the 7.5% expected during the first week of July.

After this new strain of COVID, the most prevalent variations are XBB.1.16, 15.6%, XBB.2.23, and 10.3%, respectively. The CDC is now separating several new XBB variants from their parents, including FL.1.5.1, making up 8.6% of new cases.

A biology professor named T. Ryan Gregory gave the unofficial name "Eris" to a strain of the EG.5.1 subgroup of variations, which is included in the EG.5 family. Eris quickly gained popularity on social media. According to experts, EG.5 is one of the lineages expanding the quickest globally due to what may be a "slightly beneficial mutation" that gives it an advantage over some of its other variants.

It is one of several closely related Omicron subvariants that have recently been vying for supremacy.

These variations are all descended from the XBB strain, which the COVID-19 vaccinations will be reformulated to prevent this autumn. The season for viruses is coming and this new strain of COVID will require extra precautions.

Officials have stated that these new strains' symptoms and intensity are generally similar. Still, they have also acknowledged that it is getting harder to distinguish changes in the virus as viral surveillance has decreased.

While the emergency of COVID has been lifted and we're no longer in a crisis phase, the threat of COVID is not gone. So, keeping up with surveillance and sequencing remains absolutely critical.

- Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO's technical lead for COVID-19

To effectively anticipate proportions in the present, according to CDC spokesperson Kathleen Conley, they require a specific amount of sequences since the data from Nowcast – a real time COVID tracker – is modeled.

A CDC count shows that less than 2,000 sequences from U.S. patients have been added to viral databases recently, compared to tens of thousands each week earlier during the pandemic.

According to Conley, certain regions only have a small number of sequences available; thus, even if such areas are still included in the aggregated national Nowcast, the estimates are not displayed in those locations.

What to do if you get infected with COVID-19

It is important to get rest and stay hydrated. The CDC recommends adhering to this advice if you're infected with the new strain of COVID or any other virus:

  • Stay at home and keep to yourself.
  • Make your home's ventilation better.
  • When among other people, wear an N-95 or different protective mask.
  • Remain current on COVID vaccinations and boosters.
  • Keep your healthcare practitioner informed of your symptoms and monitor them.
  • Use prescription drugs and other therapies as directed.
  • Maintain good hygiene by regularly washing your hands and wiping down communal areas.
  • To locate options in your region, use their tool for testing and treatment locations.


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