New COVID variant ‘Eris’ discovered is 36 countries

JERUSALEM – A novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) variant known as EG.5.1 is spreading around the world, health experts have said.

As the JERUSALEM POST is reporting, as of July 24, 2,442 sequences of EG.5.1 had been detected in 36 countries around the world, including at least 18 cases in Israel, according to data from, a site that aggregates data about SARS-CoV-2.

The strain has become more prevalent in the UK as COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise, British health officials said on Thursday. On social media, virologists have nicknamed the variant “Eris.”

According to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), monitoring of the EG.5.1 variant began in early July due to increasing reports of the variant internationally, especially in Asia. The variant was first detected in March.

An update from the UKHSA on Wednesday showed that cases of the EG.5.1 and XBB.1.16 (also known as Arcturus) variants were rising.

In the week beginning July 10, 11.8% of genetically sequenced cases of the novel coronavirus were found to be EG.5.1. As of July 20, that percentage had increased to 14.55% of all cases.

A relative of the variant, EG.5, was marked as a variant for monitoring by the World Health Organization in July. According to the WHO, that variant was first detected in February.

According to Meaghan Kall, an epidemiologist at the UKHSA, EG.5.1 accounts for 20% of sequenced cases in Asia, 10% of sequenced cases in Europe and 7% of sequenced cases in North America. Kall noted that past variants with similar growth advantage rates have not sparked new waves of infections.  Source:  Jerusalem Post