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New Covid variant EG.5 causes spike in US

Fri 11 Aug 2023, 01:04:29
Coronavirus doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon. A new variant of Covid named EG.5 is causing serious concern in the United States. It is unofficially also called Eris and is gaining momentum in the US, UK, and China. World Health Organisation (WHO) has also recently classified it as a 'variant of interest'. As per Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates, multiple parts of the US have reported the first upward trend in the virus. Last week, 17.3 percent of the total Covid cases were caused by the new variant. 

What is EG.5 variant?
Also known as Eris, EG.5 is a substrain of Omricon XBB and is the most recent mutation. It also shared some of the symptoms of Omricon such as headache, running nose, fatigue, and sore throat among others. The speed of the latest variant of Covid is 45 percent more than XBB.1.16 variant. 

Most affected regions in the world
EG.5 is responsible for over 17 percent of all Covid 19 cases in the US last week, making it the most common variant in the country. Not only in the US but in the United Kingdom



also, this variant is spreading quickly. As of July 20, this variant was responsible for over 14 percent Covid cases.

Its Symptoms?
As per several media reports quoting doctors across the globe, the new variant doesn't seem to be any different from the previous strains. The most common symptoms are fever, headache, loss of taste or smell, fatigue, cough, body aches, running nose, congestion, and sore throat, among others. 

Should people in India be worried about EG.5 variant?
The first case of this variant was reported in Maharashtra. The active number of Covid cases is also rising in the state. From 70 in the last week of July, it rose to 115 by August 6. However, doctors have observed that there is no increase in hospitalisation or deaths, so there is no need to panic.

Any specific vaccination?

Since the new variant is closely related to the Omricon subvariants and is a descendant of the XBB strain, there is no specific vaccination for this one. Already available vaccines will prevent and target the EG.5 variant.
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