: WHO names EG.5 COVID strain a variant of interest as it continues to spread around the world


The World Health Organization has upgraded COVID-19 variant EG.5 to a variant of interest, or VOI, from a variant under monitoring, or VUM, as it continues to become more prevalent around the world. The variant, which has been nicknamed ‘Eris’ by some media to stick with the Greek alphabet designations used for other variants, has been found in 51 countries, with most sequences, or 30.6%, stemming from China, said WHO. Other countries that have submitted at least 100 sequences to a central database include the U.S., (18.4%, 1356 sequences), the Republic of Korea (14.1%, 1040 sequences), Japan (11.1%, 814 sequences), Canada (5.3%, 392 sequences), Australia (2.1%, 158 sequences), Singapore (2.1%, 154 sequences), the United Kingdom (2.0%, 150 sequences), France (1.6%,119 sequences), Portugal (1.6%, 115 sequences), and Spain (1.5%, 107 sequences), the WHO said in a statement. The global prevalence rose to 17.4% in the week through July 23 from 7.6% four weeks prior. The public health risk is evaluated as low at the global level, lining up with the risk posed by XBB.1.16 and other currently circulating VOIs, said the statement, as it seems no more virulent than other strains, while being more infectious.

This article was originally published by Marketwatch.com. Read the original article here.

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