Healthy Lifestyle

Covid Eris symptoms: All we know about new variant driving surge in cases

A new chapter in the Covid-19 saga unfolds as a novel variant named Eris emerges, casting a shadow over a summer grappling with surging hospital admissions and the interplay of waning immunity and inclement weather. This descendant of Omicron, affectionately dubbed EG.5.1, made its official entry onto the stage of viral evolution on July 31st in the UK. ( A subtle shift in the tides of infection patterns has thrust Eris into the limelight, accounting for a notable one in ten Covid cases. ( This unexpected ascent catapults Eris into the position of the second most prevalent variant in the UK, trailing behind Arcturus, which holds dominion over almost half of all infection cases at 39.4 percent, as reported by UKHSA. (

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As the viral symphony plays on, the crescendo of Covid cases resonates louder, with estimated numbers soaring by almost 200,000 in the span of a single month. The stark transformation unfolds from 606,656 projected cases on July 4th to a staggering 785,980 on July 27th, as chronicled by The Zoe Health Study. The pulse of this surge quickens, as the UKHSA’s data reveals a notable shift. In the week concluding on July 30th, 5.4 percent of 4,396 respiratory specimens bore the Covid-19 mark, marking an ascent from the preceding report’s count of 3.7 percent from 4,403 specimens. (

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The inception of Eris is shrouded in the fog of early July 2023, when international reports, particularly from Asia, began to signal its presence. ( A trajectory of ascension marks Eris’s voyage, with its first notes entering the monitoring radar on July 3rd. ( By the week commencing on July 10th, 11.8 percent of UK sequences harmonized with the Eris melody, a tune that has swelled to encompass 14.6 percent of cases, according to the latest crescendo of data.

Eris’s entry into the spotlight prompts an encore from the World Health Organization (WHO), which adds EG.5.1 to its roster of monitored variants. The symphony of symptoms takes center stage, with Eris echoing the refrain of its Omicron lineage. The ZOE Health Study unveils a quintet of symptoms that compose the Eris opus: a runny nose, a persistent headache, the embrace of fatigue (ranging from mild to severe), harmonious sneezes, and the haunting notes of a sore throat.

Yet, as the experts weigh in, the narrative takes on a multifaceted hue. The insights of Independent Sage member Prof Christina Pagel paint a sobering portrait, suggesting the emergence of a new wave propelled by Omicron subvariants Arcturus and Eris, interwoven with waning immunity and the melancholic backdrop of inclement weather. The symphony finds a discordant note in the rain-laden clouds that have confined people indoors. However, glimmers of hope pierce the overcast sky, as the summer holidays extend an invitation for the variant’s tempo to wane, aided by closed schools and outbound travelers. ( The rhythmic march of time brings September into focus, bearing the potential for Eris’s crescendo to reach its zenith as schools reopen, adults resume work or university, and the indoors beckon once more.

As voices intertwine in this symphony of insight, Professor Azeem Majeed lends a contrasting note. The head of primary care and public health at Imperial College London offers a composed perspective, urging against undue alarm amidst the surge. Prof Majeed tempers the discourse by emphasizing that EG.5.1 is a version of the Omicron lineage, stamped with the status of a variant under monitoring (VUM) by the WHO rather than the more ominous label of a variant of concern (VOC). The melody of caution rings true, echoing the need for vigilance as the impact on infection rates, hospitalizations, and mortality is played out on the global stage.

The symphony of Covid variants continues, each note an essential part of a complex composition that shapes our world. As Eris takes its place in this ongoing tale, we invite you, the audience, to share your thoughts and reflections. In the ever-evolving cadence of this pandemic journey, how do you perceive the interplay between viral variants, immunity, and the rhythm of life? Your insights provide an essential chorus in this melodious exploration. Share your thoughts in the comments below. (

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