The new variant of interest EG.5.1 also known as ‘Eris’ is fast spreading across the world as many countries begin to record surging Covid-19 infections.
EG.5 had been reported in more than 51 countries including China, the US, the Republic of Korea, Japan, Canada, Australia, Singapore, the UK, France, Portugal and Spain, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
It has been detected among cases in the US, Europe, and Asia and has been associated with outbreaks, including hospital admissions.
According to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), Eris makes up one in seven new cases.
Early in July, one in nine cases were down to the variant. The latest data suggests it now accounts for 14.6 percent of cases – the second most prevalent in the UK.
Due to this, COVID-19 rates have continued to increase – up from 3.7 percent of 4,403 respiratory cases last week to 5.4 percent of 4,396 this week.
It is the most common and fastest-growing COVID-19 sub-variant in the U.S, estimated to be responsible for around 17 percent of current COVID cases, according to the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC).
COVID-19 related hospitalisations have risen more than 40 percent of recent lows reached in June, but are still more than 90 percent below peak levels reached during the January 2022 Omicron outbreak, according to CDC data.
The amount of virus identified in wastewater around the country and the number of weekly prescriptions for COVID treatment Paxlovid have all risen significantly over the past month.
The symptoms of the new Covid-19 variant Eris are reported to be runny nose, sneezing, cough, fever, and fatigue among others.