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New COVID variant Eris spreading rapidly in UK; know signs and symptoms

What’s in News?

A new COVID variant Eris or EG.5.1 is rapidly spreading across the country United Kingdom. Startlingly, one out of every seven COVID-19 cases in the UK is now linked to this variant. The spread of Eris is not limited only to UK but also across Europe, Asia and North America, marking its impact globally.

What is Eris?

Eris is a new variant of COVID-19 virus that has been identified in the UK. It is also known as EG.5.1. This variant is causing concern as it is spreading at a faster rate not only in UK but also across Europe, Asia and North America, marking its impact globally. It is spreading quickly and become a significant contributor to COVID-19 cases in the UK.

UK Health Security Agency’s Findings

According to the UK Health Security Agency, around 11.8% of the sequences in the UK were identified as EG.5.1 in the second week of July. The agency began closely monitoring Eris on July 3, due to increasing reports globally, especially in Asia. It was later recognised as a variant on 31st July as it was spreading rapidly, even in the UK.

The new variant now makes up one out of seven new COVID cases. As per a report on August 3, 5.4% of 4,396 respiratory specimens reported through the Respiratory DataMart System were identified as COVID-19.

Factors responsible for widespread Eris

The Eris variant is believed to have originated from the Omicron lineage of the COVID-19. Factors such as the virus’s ability to adapt to different conditions, including human immune responses, might contribute to its emergence and rapid spread.

Additionally, external factors like weather conditions, population density and public behaviour can also play a role in the spread of variants.


As of now, specific symptoms of the Eris variant have not been definitively identified, some of the common symptoms are:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body ache
  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Headache
  • Sore throat

Precautionary measures

Some of the precautionary measures for the Eris variant are as follows:

  • Get vaccinated and consider boosters
  • Wear masks
  • Maintain physical distance
  • Practice good hand hygiene
  • Avoid crowded places
  • Stay informed about the local guidelines

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