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08th Aug 2023

Symptoms to watch out for as new Covid strain ‘Eris’ detected in the UK

Just when we thought we had heard the last of the dreaded C word..

A new variant, E.G. 5.1, which has been named Eris, has been detected in the UK amid a resurgence in Covid cases.

This new strain now ranks as the second most prevalent Covid strain in the UK as over 800,000 people are estimated to be affected by the new Eris variant – a descendant of Omicron.

It was confirmed as a new strain on July 31st and it reportedly accounts for one-in-seven Covid cases in England. 

Although Eris is not believed to be a major cause for concern right now, it has been added to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) watchlist and continues to be monitored. 

This comes following an increase in hospital admissions in the UK, which saw a 40.7% jump in hospitalisations in the week ending July 29th versus the seven days prior, according to Covid data from the UKSHA.

There is no need to worry just yet, as there are currently no cases of Eris in Ireland.

However, tests are ongoing in the North to detect whether a “small number” of cases of the new variant has made it’s way across the Irish Sea and results are expected in the coming days, according to the Public Health Agency, as reported by BBC NI.

While this new strain has not been reported in Ireland yet, WHO Director General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has said that “countries should not let down their guard.”

Symptoms of Eris include:

  • Sore throat
  • Runny nose
  • Blocked nose
  • Sneezing
  • Dry cough
  • Headache
  • Wet cough
  • Hoarse voice
  • Muscle aches
  • Altered smell

According to the HSE, if you have tested positive for Covid-19, you must self-isolate for five days and avoid contact with other people, especially those who are at higher risk.