EG.5 Variant ‘Eris’: The Dominant Strain of COVID-19 in the U.S. Explained

EG.5 Variant 'Eris' COVID-19 in the U.S.

The United States is grappling with a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, driven by a newly emerged variant known as EG.5, affectionately nicknamed “Eris.” As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports a substantial increase in infections, experts shed light on the key aspects of this variant, addressing concerns, symptoms, and implications. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of EG.5, exploring its origin, contagiousness, potential risks, and broader implications for public health.

Unveiling the EG.5 Variant: Eris Takes the Spotlight 

The EG.5 variant, also known as “Eris,” has swiftly risen to prominence as the primary strain of COVID-19 in the U.S., according to the CDC. Recent upswings in cases across the nation are largely attributed to the emergence of this novel subvariant.

A Closer Look at EG.5: The New Concern on the Horizon 

Despite concerns surrounding EG.5, experts emphasize that its increased prevalence does not necessarily imply a heightened risk of severe infections. Dr. David Cennimo, an infectious disease specialist, offers insights into the mutation’s impact and potential implications.

EG.5’s Dominance and Proliferation: Statistics and Insights 

EG.5, a subvariant of the Omicron lineage, has rapidly become the most prevalent strain of COVID-19 infections nationwide. CDC estimates reveal its growing influence, accounting for many new cases and contributing to the recent surge.

Decoding EG.5: Evolution and Characteristics 

Dr. Cennimo explains that EG.5 is a descendant of the XBB strain, which traces back to Omicron. This ongoing evolution underscores the dynamic nature of the virus, with EG.5 emerging as the latest mutation.

Contagiousness of EG.5: Is It More Infectious? 

With elevated transmission rates observed for EG.5, concerns arise about its contagiousness compared to previous variants. Dr. Sharon Nachman delves into the complexities of assessing transmissibility and the potential factors contributing to its spread.

Understanding Concerns: Should You Be Worried About EG.5? 

The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated EG.5 as a “variant of interest.” Dr. Cennimo reassures that while the variant’s dominance is notable, no significant evidence suggests increased severity or heightened infectiousness.

Distinguishing EG.5 from Other Variants: A Diagnostic Challenge 

Dr. Amesh A. Adalja highlights the difficulty of clinically differentiating EG.5 from other SARS-CoV-2 forms, as its symptoms closely resemble those of Omicron and related subvariants.

EG.5 Symptoms: A Familiar Profile

EG.5 variant symptoms, align with those of preceding strains, encompassing sore throat, runny nose, cough, URI symptoms, and low-grade fevers. A comparison with the CDC’s list of common COVID-19 symptoms reveals their ongoing consistency.

EG.5 and Vaccination: Addressing the Subvariant 

Dr. Nachman outlines that the upcoming fall vaccine will encompass all XBB subvariants, including EG.5. While no specialized vaccine targets this subvariant, existing vaccines remain effective in preventing severe disease across various variants.

Long COVID and EG.5: Unraveling the Connection 

EG.5’s potential association with long COVID remains uncertain, given the evolving nature of the pandemic. Dr. Nachman delves into the current lack of data while highlighting the role of vaccination in reducing long COVID risks.


While EG.5, or “Eris,” emerges as a dominant subvariant of concern within the ongoing battle against COVID-19, experts emphasize that its impact may not necessarily lead to more severe infections. Vigilance, vaccination, and adherence to public health measures remain crucial in mitigating the spread of the virus. As the scientific community continuously evolves its understanding of the coronavirus landscape, staying informed through reputable sources such as the CDC, WHO, and local health departments is essential for making informed decisions during these challenging times. Always consult with healthcare professionals for personalized medical advice and guidance.

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