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COVID-19: WHO warns of rapid global spread of new variant

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced a rapid spread of a new variant of coronavirus EG.5 (Eris) in the world. Press release of the organization says.

According to it, the variant was classified as «of interest.»

It is reported that from July 17 to July 23, the prevalence of EG.5 was 17.4 percent, while from June 19 to June 25, the rate did not exceed 7.6 percent. The strain was first reported on February 17, and on July 19 it was designated as a «surveillance variant.»

EG.5 is an omicron subvariant found in 51 countries, including the United States, China, South Korea, and Japan, according to initial evaluation results.

According to WHO estimates, the overall risk posed by this variant to the population «at the global level» is considered to be low, in line with the risk posed by other currently circulating variants under surveillance.

«While EG.5 has shown increased prevalence, incidence growth, and ability to evade immunity, there have been no reports of changes in disease severity to date,» the WHO stressed, adding that due to the nature of the strain, there may be a spike in incidence in some countries or even all over the world.