New COVID variant Eris: What are the symptoms of EG.5?

EG.5 variant of covid

The emergence of the EG.5, commonly referred to as the Eris variant, is raising concerns worldwide, especially since it’s the reason behind the rise of COVID-19 related hospitalizations recently.

Here’s everything we know about this new variant.

What is the new variant EG.5?

EG.5, like its predecessors, is a result of mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 virus. These mutations can lead to changes in the virus’s behavior, such as increased transmissibility or resistance to treatments and vaccines.

The identification of this variant has been a significant development, as it represents another shift in the virus’s evolution.

How fast is EG.5 (Eris) spreading?

Early data suggests that this variant may have a higher transmission rate compared to previous strains. This could be due to changes in the spike protein of the virus, which plays a key role in infecting human cells.

The rapid spread of EG.5 in various regions indicates a need for close monitoring and potentially updated public health strategies.

What distinguishes it from other variants?

Each COVID-19 variant brings its unique set of characteristics, and the EG.5 variant differs from each of them because of its genetic mutations and ability to evade immunity.

What sets EG.5 apart from its predecessors could be a range of factors, including:

  • Genetic mutations: EG.5 is a descendant of the XBB.1.9.2 subvariant, which is part of the Omicron lineage. It carries a specific mutation in the spike protein called F456L, known as a “FLip” mutation. This mutation helps the virus bind more effectively to cell receptors and evade antibodies produced by the immune system.
  • Immune evasion: Due to its mutation, EG.5 has shown an enhanced ability to evade neutralizing antibodies from previous infections and vaccinations.
  • Transmissibility. EG.5 has become the most prevalent variant in several countries, including the United States, accounting for a significant proportion of new cases.
  • Vaccine effectiveness: The upcoming COVID-19 vaccines, designed to target the XBB.1.5 variant, are expected to offer better protection against EG.5.

symptoms of EG.5

What are the symptoms of EG.5?

The symptoms of EG.5 may be similar to those observed in previous COVID-19 variants, which include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of taste or smell

Can COVID-19 tests detect EG.5?

The current COVID-19 tests, specifically polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and rapid antigen tests, are designed to detect the presence of SARS-CoV-2. These tests are also capable of identifying EG.5.

Will existing vaccines protect against EG.5?

As with previous variants, there’s a concern about how well current vaccines will work against EG.5. Vaccine manufacturers and researchers are continuously monitoring the efficacy of vaccines against new variants and adapting their formulas if necessary.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), current antiviral treatments and diagnostic tests remain effective against this variant.

How to protect yourself from EG.5?

Follow established public health guidelines and stay informed about the latest developments.

This includes:

  • Practicing good hygiene
  • Wearing masks in crowded or enclosed spaces
  • Maintaining physical distancing
  • Getting vaccinated and boosted as recommended

If you develop any of these symptoms, seek medical advice from your healthcare provider.

Key takeaway

The rise of the EG.5 variant is a reminder of the dynamic nature of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To protect yourself and others, adhere to public healthmeasures, get tested and consult your doctor if you experience symptoms of COVID-19.

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