Covid-19 New Eris variant of concern
August 15, 2022 - Recorded cases of COVID are rising in the U.S., Europe and Asia, with EG.5 or Eris identified as a variant of concern – fast growing and likely to become the dominant form as immunity levels wane.
The WHO singled out Eris to be closely watched because of mutations that might make it more contagious or severe. It has an extra spike protein mutation which can give it a transmission advantage over other previously dominant variants, but also affects how antibodies neutralise the virus, possibly allowing it to evade immunity due to previous infection or vaccination.
Global EG.5 infections account for around 17% of total cases, up from just 1% in late May, and while it is generally no more dangerous than the earlier Omicron variant, U.S. hospitalisations have soared by 40% since a low in June, while still 90% lower than the January 2022 Omicron outbreak.