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  • Jimena Schoemann de Miguel


EG.5, also known as Eris, is a descendant of Omicron. Eris is a Greek goddess, whose Roman version is Discordia. The translation of Eris is “strife” and, fittingly, she is the goddess of strife and discord. EG.5 is thus the more powerful version of the Coronavirus by far. It had its peak during the end of summer and the start of autumn. Eris is extremely closely related to a variant named XBB that was prevalent in the United States during the end of spring and the start of summer. The World Health Association (WHO) suggested that countries should pay close attention to these developments because there are mutations that can make it more critical. There is no requirement to stay at home if you test positive, but you should follow government guidance. The prevalence has risen worldwide by about 9.8%. There are many vaccines and if you are careful there is nothing to be scared about, as the vaccines that are used for omicron are also used for Eris.

The symptoms of Eris include a sore throat, a fever, a headache, a runny nose, and congestions. Unlike Covid-19 you will not experience a loss of your taste and smell, instead there are milder symptoms more centred on the upper respiratory tract. But these symptoms can feel like a cold, the flu or pneumonia. You may not notice that you have caught EG.5, so if you are suffering from any of the symptoms, please do check with a test.

It originally came from Japan, China, and South Korea, but has lately been found in North America and Europe. EG.5.1 specifically has the largest growth rate for Coronavirus variants in the United Kingdom and represents about 14% of cases. Whereas in the United States, EG.5 represents approximately 17% of cases.

Experts on this sort of matter all agree that the weather has a considerable influence on the rapid increase of Eris cases, but the cause of these cases is still unknown. There is a slight increase in hospital admission rates in particular among the elderly, but no major increase overall.

Omicron subvariants are “definitely starting another wave in the United Kingdom” says Christina Pagel, professor of operational research at University College London. Since the amount of people getting vaccinated has decreased, there were widespread assumptions that the wave may grow faster, but luckily it has not grown since September. Professor Azeem Majeed stated to “The Independent", "I don’t feel that people should be unduly worried by the recent increase in COVID-19 cases. Case numbers will fluctuate and there will be periods when the number of cases in the UK increases.” He added, “This means we need to continue to monitor EG.5.1 to see what impact it has on outcomes such as the number of infections, hospital admissions and deaths.”

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