The Midweek Sun

Eris symptoms to look out for


New COVID variants, both sub-variants of the Omicron, are in the news currently for driving COVID cases after a short break. EG.5, which is nicknamed Eris, accounts for 17% of the total cases of COVID in the US; the variant is also spreading faster in the UK. Meanwhile, BA.2.86, dubbed as BA.X has been identified by the World Health Organisati­on (WHO) and put under variant under monitoring list.

As of now, no new change is being seen in the type and pattern of the COVID symptoms. However, health experts are urging people to take care of the common symptoms of COVID and test themselves and take necessary precaution­s at the earliest.

Health experts have said that the pattern of COVID symptoms are in the same terms as the symptoms seen during the previous strains. So far, Eris “seems to be the same in terms of symptoms,” says Thomas Russo, M.D., a professor and the chief of infectious diseases at the University at Buffalo told The Prevention. The common symptoms one should be careful about are fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea. The symptoms are available on the website of the Center for Disease Control(CDC).

“Most people will have an upper respirator­y tract infection, but some people will develop more serious disease, which will be a lower respirator­y tract infection. Some people develop non-respirator­y tract symptoms, like diarrhea,” Dr Russo told The Prevention. He also warns against pink eye or conjunctiv­itis. Loss of taste and smell, which was seen during the earlier infection waves of the COVID, is less likely to be seen during the infection caused by Eris, the expert has said.

BA.2.86, which was first identified in Denmark and Israel, has been added to WHO’s list of variants under monitoring. Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead for the COVID-19 response at the WHO, had tweeted about this variant. In her tweet, Kherkhove said that currently very less informatio­n is available on the variant, but the large number of mutations it has needs closer monitoring.

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