US Scientist Admits COVID-19 Measures Were Fabricated

COVID-19: WHO Declares New Strain ‘Variant of Interest’

The World Health Organisation (WHO(has declared a new strain of COVID-19 a variant of interest.

However, the WHO explained that the new variant does not constitute a high public health risk.

The variant, known as EG.5 or “Eris”, is related to an Omicron subvariant called XBB.1.9.2, and notably growing in prevalence across the globe.

The new strain has been found in the UK, China and the United States, among others.

According to WHO, the variant does not pose a particular threat, adding, “based on the available evidence, the public health risk posed by EG.5 is evaluated as low at the global level.”

The global health body noted that the risk associated with the new COVID-19 strain is no different from other circulating variants of interest.
according to WHO, “While EG.5 has shown increased prevalence, growth advantage, and immune escape properties, there have been no reported changes in disease severity to date.”.

WHO listed a number of actions it recommended member states prioritise to better understand antibody escape and severity of EG.5, including monitoring for changes in indicators of severity.

While the variant was growing in prevalence and appeared to be better at evading the immune system, allowing it to outcompete other variants, there was no evidence that it caused more severe disease, said Professor of operational research at University College London, Christina Pagel.

She said, “It will probably cause a wave of more cases and all the problems that brings – such as more hospitalizations and Long Covid– but there is no reason at the moment to think that will be worse than previous waves this year.”

The professor held that waning immunity, whether from vaccinations or previous infections, may mean the wave of EG.5 took longer to peak and hence could be larger.

A virologist at the University of Leeds, Professor Stephen Griffin, said while the prevalence of the variant was increasing relatively slowly in the UK, its infectiousness and ability to evade antibodies meant that the number of cases may grow more rapidly when students return to school and people are back to work and university after the summer break.