This subvariant, scientifically named EG.5.1, was first detected on 31 July. However, it is thought to have started to spread mainly towards the end of May.
The sub-variant, also called Eris, is said to be derived from the Omicron variant of Sars-Cov-2. Experts are of the opinion that there is no situation to panic yet.
In the statement from the World Health Organization (WHO), countries were advised to be vigilant against new cases and to closely monitor patients showing COVID symptoms.
The UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) announced that the number of COVID cases in the country has increased. The health institution stated that 5.4 percent of the 4 thousand 396 respiratory disease cases registered recently were diagnosed with COVID-19.
One of the 7 COVID cases is Eris
Eris has already been the cause of one in 7 COVID cases, according to UKHSA data. This means that the new sub-variant is spreading quite quickly compared to the others and is becoming more and more dominant.
The agency estimates that Eris accounted for 14.55 percent of all COVID cases as of July 20.
Again, according to UKHSA data, another sub-variant derived from Omicron, named XBB.1.16, was the most dominant strain, responsible for 39 percent of all cases.
Professor Paul Hunter, one of the UK’s leading infectious disease experts, said Eris “probably will become dominant at some point and increase the overall number of infections”.
However, according to the scientist, who thinks that the effect of the variant will probably not be as striking as feared, it is still early to say how the new cases will affect the country.
The virus keeps changing
Microbiologist at the University of Reading in London, Dr. “COVID will continue to change and adapt to new circumstances. So we shouldn’t be shocked or worried when new variants emerge and cause an increasing number of infections,” Simon Clarke told the Daily Mail.
Dr. “The protection that vaccination provides against severe disease is still good. While the number of cases is decreasing and increasing, hospitalizations and death rates remain low. This is reassuring,” said the scientist, Simon Clarke.
“People should live their lives normally unless large numbers of people are re-hospitalized.”
What other countries has it spread to?
Eris already accounts for about 20 percent of COVID cases in Asia, 10 percent of those in Europe and 7 percent of those in North America.
Israel is also among those affected by the new variant. Authorities say this variant has been detected in at least 18 cases in Israel as of July 24. Worldwide, this variant is responsible for more than 2,000 cases in 36 countries.
No statement has been made yet as to whether the variant is seen in Turkey or not.