New COVID-19 Variant 'Eris' Driving Up Cases in UK: Why Experts Are Concerned

Eris was first identified as a strain of Omicron on 3 July this year.

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A new COVID-19 variant, Eris or EG.5.1, has raised alarms for the United Kingdom’s Health Security Agency (UKHSA), where it has led to an increase in cases – every one in seven new COVID-19 cases in the UK is affected by Eris. 

Eris was first identified as a strain of Omicron on 3 July this year. The UKHSA has said: “Declaring this lineage as a variant will allow further detailed characterisation and analysis.”

Here’s all you need to know.


Increasing COVID-19 cases in the UK: 

“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 admission.”
Dr Mary Ramsay, UKHSA's Head of Immunisation

On 3 August, in a report released by the UKHSA, the agency had said that there has been an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases identified from respiratory specimens.

In fact, after XBB.1.16, Eris is driving the most number of COVID-19 cases in the UK.

The new variant is accounting for 14.6 percent of the country's entire COVID-19 cases.

Symptoms of Eris: According to Independent, these are the most common symptoms of Eris,

  • Runny nose

  • Headache

  • Fatigue

  • Sneezing

  • Sore throat

What are experts saying? Global health authorities are monitoring the situation in UK. World Health Organization chief Tedros Ghebreyesus has asked people to “not let down their guard” amidst the rise in COVID-19 cases. 

Here’s what the WHO director general has advised for people who are at higher risks of contracting the virus:

  • Wear masks in crowded places

  • Get booster doses

  • Maintain proper ventilation in indoor spaces

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Topics:  UK   COVID-19   covid 19 

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