A fresh wave of Covid-19 infections has hit the UK, with a new variant named Eris making its presence felt nationwide. This variant, an offshoot of the widespread Omicron strain, has witnessed a significant increase in cases, with experts estimating that one in seven individuals who test positive have contracted the Eris variant.
The statistics paint a concerning picture: on July 1, only 3.3 people per 100,000 were recorded as Covid-positive, but as of July 29, this number has surged to 7.2, primarily attributed to the emergence of the Eris variant. First detected in the UK in early May, Eris caught the attention of the World Health Organisation, which subsequently added it to its watch list under the designation EG.5.1. As of now, it hasn’t been classified as a variant of concern.
Dr Mary Ramsay, Head of Immunisation at the UK Health Security Agency, noted, “We continue to see a rise in Covid-19 cases in this week’s report. We have also seen a small rise in hospital admission rates in most age groups, particularly among the elderly. Overall, admission levels remain extremely low, and we are not seeing a similar increase in ICU admissions. We will continue to monitor these rates closely.”
According to the Zoe Health Study, the symptoms associated with the Eris variant closely resemble those of the well-known Omicron variant.
These symptoms include:
- sore throat
- hoarse voice
- blocked nose
- runny nose
- dry cough
- wet cough
- hoarse voice
- muscle aches
Professor Lawrence Young, a virologist at Warwick University, shared insights with MailOnline, suggesting that the recent surge in cases could be linked to adverse weather conditions and increased cinema attendance, possibly for films like “Barbie” or “Oppenheimer.” He emphasised, “Overall infection levels remain low, but this is a wake-up call that underscores our need to remain vigilant in the face of Covid. We must monitor the emergence of variants and maintain vigilance as we anticipate a likely rise in infections during the autumn/winter period.”