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How perilous is ERIS? - TABIB says caution is required, despite no serious cases found

18 September 2023 [22:00] - TODAY.AZ
By Azernews 

Qabil Ashirov

The new wave of COVID rapidly spreads throughout the world. WHO draws attention specially on the new variants such as Eg.5 ERIS, BA.2.86, Azernews reports.

The new varian EG.5, which is known as Eris, is now the dominant strain globally and about 20.6% of new COVID-19 cases are thought to be caused by EG.5, says the World Health Organization.

As for the BA.2.86 variant, it is dubbed "Pirola" after a large asteroid that hangs out near Jupiter. This variant has been detected in 11 countries. WHO is currently classifying BA.2.86 as a variant under monitoring, based on the large number of mutations it contains – at least 30 as compared to the "Kraken" (XBB.1.5), and "Eris" (EG.5) variants. However, it hasn't been tracking it for long enough to understand whether BA.2.86 is outcompeting other variants, or what the impact of these mutations will be.

In generally, according to the statistics, the number of infected people worldwide has increased by 38% in the last month. In Europe, the increase is 39%, in the western Pacific it is 52%, and in the eastern Mediterranean it is 113%.

A sharp increase in the number of infections was recorded in Korea, Italy, Great Britain, Australia and Singapore

The situation is more critical in the USA. More than 650,000 Americans are diagnosed with COVID per day, and it is predicted that about 10 percent of the country's population will be infected with the virus in the coming months. Deaths increased by 5% compared to August.

During the last week, the number of hospitalizations due to COVID-19 in the United States increased by 8.7%, and the number of deaths increased by 4.5%. The US Federal Health Organization has recommended Americans to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

While 5-10% of test results are positive in the summer in Latvia, this figure is already approaching 25%. The country's population is advised to stay at home for a week and not to make contact with other people, and to use respirators when going out

Quarantine restrictions have been applied in 49 schools in the Altai region of Russia, and 6 schools have been closed in general due to the increase in the number of COVID infections. "Sugruntenfgaz" is discussing switching to mask mode again.

Even so, many scientists are predicting that they will make it harder for our immune systems to recognise and mount a strong response.

WHO calls for revaccination of those in the risk zone, mainly the elderly with low immunity.

In a comment to Azernews on the issue, the Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases and Infection Control Organization of TABIB Nazrin Mustafayeva confirmed that the EG.5 sub-variant of COVID-19 - also known as "Eris" in the scientific literature - has been spreading rapidly around the world, for several months.

"This is not the first time, other strains of COVID-19 have been recorded as well. The trend is that each new strain has milder symptoms than the one before it. However, the infectivity of the new strains is higher than the previous ones. This causes mass infections in a short time," Nazrin Mustafayeva said.

She noted that currently, there have been no cases of infection with the new strain of the COVID-19 disease in Azerbaijan. The vast majority of people have already had and recovered from COVID-19. The percentage of vaccination in Azerbaijan is also at a satisfactory level.

"There are no recommendations in international protocols to prepare a specific type of vaccine against EG.5, a sub-variant of COVID-19, and to initiate a specific vaccination process. As always, people at risk for all strains of COVID-19 should be extra careful. The risk group includes those with chronic diseases and non-vaccinated people," Nazrin Mustafayeva concluded.


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