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The New Variant of Covid-19 Named Eris (EG.5.1): WHO Classifies it as an Interesting Option with Low Public Health Risk


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The New Variant of Covid-19: Eris or EG.5.1

The World Health Organization has classified the new variant of Covid-19, known as Eris or EG.5.1, as an interesting option. While its risk to public health remains low, it is growing in popularity worldwide in countries such as the UK, China, and the US.

The Name and WHO Guidelines

The mutant variant was named after “Eris,” the Greek goddess who was the messenger of the gods to mankind. Her name means “rainbow” and is also the name of a dwarf planet in our solar system. The name follows WHO guidelines for using simple, easy-to-pronounce nomenclature for coronavirus variants using Greek letters.

Public Health Risk

The World Health Organization has stated that the public health risk posed by EG.5.1 is low globally. It is on par with other circulating variants of similar origin, and there is no evidence that it causes more severe illness in humans. The symptoms of the infection are similar to those caused by other strains of Covid-19.

Appearance and Control

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The mutant variant first appeared in February but gained more prominence in July when its estimated proportion of total cases doubled. The World Health Organization has added EG.5.1 to its list of mutants under control.

Experts’ Concerns

Scientists are not yet sure why EG.5.1 is becoming more common, but its exponential growth has led the WHO to upgrade it from a “controlled mutant” to an “interesting variant.” Experts believe it could contribute to an increase in infections globally, particularly as schools and universities reopen.

Symptoms and Impact

Given that EG.5.1 is a subspecies of the Omicron mutant, it exhibits the five most common symptoms: runny nose, headache, fatigue, sneezing, and sore throat. However, it does not appear to cause more serious illness.

Global Spread

Infections of EG.5.1 have been reported in 51 countries, including China, the United States, South Korea, Japan, Canada, Australia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, France, Portugal, and Spain.

Source: The Independent + Business Insider

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