The WHO started tracking the EG.5.1 variant just over two weeks ago when director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said though people are better protected by vaccines an infection, countries should not let down their guard
A new COVID-19 variant which has descended from the rapidly spreading Omicron and was first flagged in the UK last month is now said to be spreading quickly in the country, according to health authorities in England. The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said EG.5.1, which has been nicknamed Eris, makes up one in seven new COVID-19 cases. It was classified as a variant on July 31.
“EG.5.1 was first raised as a signal in monitoring on July 3, 2023, as part of horizon scanning due to increasing reports internationally, particularly in Asia,” the UKHSA said. “It was subsequently raised from a signal in monitoring to a variant V-23JUL-01 on July 31, 2023, due to the increasing number of genomes in UK data, and continued growth internationally. Declaring this lineage as a variant will allow further detailed characterisation and analysis,” it said.
The WHO started tracking the EG.5.1 variant just over two weeks ago when director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said though people are better protected by vaccines and prior infection, countries should not let down their guard
There is no indication that the new variant is any more severe as the latest UKHSA data suggests it now accounts for 14.6 per cent of all COVID cases in the country, even as COVID-19 case rates continued to increase.