New Covid variant 2023 symptoms: Government issues warning as Eris variant spreads across UK

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The government has issued a warning as a new Covid variant has been found in the UK - and cases are on the rise

A new variant of Covid named Eris has emerged as figures show a spike in hospital admissions this summer. The new variant is a descendant of Omicron, and is known scientifically as EG.5.1.

Eris was first classified as a UK variant on July 31 but is now thought to account for one in 10 Covid cases, making it the second most prevalent in the country. However, it is believed nearly half of all infection cases belong to the Arcturus variant according to UKHSA.

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The rise in Covid cases comes as The Zoe Health Study, which estimates figures for UK Covid infections  numbers jumped by almost 200,000 last month, from 606,656 predicted cases on July 4 to 785,980 on July 27. Meanwhile, a report published by the UKHSA on August 3 states COVID-19 case rates continued to increase compared to the previous report.

The figures showed 5.4 percent of 4,396 respiratory specimens reported through the Respiratory DataMart System were identified as COVID-19. This is compared to 3.7 percent of 4,403 from the previous report.

Meanwhile, the overall COVID-19 hospital admission rate for week 30 was 1.97 per 100,000 population, an increase from 1.17 per 100,000 in the previous report.

Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), said: “We continue to see a rise in COVID-19 cases in this week’s report. We have also seen a small rise in hospital admission rates in most age groups, particularly among the elderly. We will continue to monitor these rates closely.

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“The NHS will be in contact in autumn 2023 when the seasonal vaccine is available for those who are eligible due to health conditions or age, and we urge everyone who is offered to take up the vaccine when offered.”

Omicron Scotland: All adults to be offered Covid booster vaccine  by end of JanuaryOmicron Scotland: All adults to be offered Covid booster vaccine  by end of January
Omicron Scotland: All adults to be offered Covid booster vaccine by end of January

Covid Eris symptoms

Eris is a strain of the Omicron Covid variant. According to the ZOE Health Study, the five most common symptoms of Omicron are:

  • Runny nose
  • Headache
  • Fatigue (mild or severe)
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat

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