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COVID-19: New pressure spreading throughout UK designated ‘variant of curiosity’ by WHO | World Information

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A brand new fast-spreading COVID pressure has been designated a “variant of curiosity” by the World Well being Organisation.

EG.5 is descended from the Omicron variant of coronavirus and is rising in prevalence globally, together with within the UK, US and China.

It has been detected in 51 international locations in complete, together with South Korea, Japan, Canada, Australia, Singapore, France, Portugal and Spain.

Within the week starting 19 June, one in 13 {cases} had been all the way down to the COVID variant.

The newest information suggests it now accounts for 17.4% of {cases} – one in six – which the WHO described as a “notable rise”.

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Nevertheless, it stated the general public well being threat posed by EG.5 has been judged as low.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead on COVID-19, stated EG.5 has an elevated transmissibility however is just not extra extreme than different Omicron variants.

“Collectively, out there proof doesn’t counsel that EG.5 has further public well being dangers relative to the opposite at the moment circulating Omicron descendent lineages,” the WHO stated in a threat analysis.

“Whereas EG.5 has proven elevated prevalence, development benefit, and immune escape properties, there have been no reported adjustments in illness severity up to now,” it added.

EG.5 consists of subvariant EG.5.1 – which T. Ryan Gregory, a biology professor, has nicknamed “Eris” in posts on social media.

Final week, the UK Well being Safety Company (UKHSA) stated EG.5.1 now makes up one in seven new cases in the UK.

Learn extra:
Scientists begin work on vaccines for ‘Disease X’
Nose-picking health workers more likely to catch COVID

The WHO replace comes amid a fall in COVID reporting.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated solely 11% of nations are reporting hospitalisations and ICU admissions associated to the virus – hindering efforts to combat it.

He has urged international locations to not let down their guard, and to proceed reporting COVID information and supply vaccination.

COVID-19 has killed greater than 6.9 million individuals globally, with greater than 768 million confirmed {cases} because the virus emerged.

WHO declared the outbreak a pandemic in March 2020 and ended the worldwide emergency standing for COVID in Could this 12 months.

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