The new EG.5 strain of the coronavirus has now emerged in Gujarat, according to data from the Gujarat Biological Research Centre (GBRC).
Nicknamed Eris, two cases of this strain have been detected in Ahmedabad and Vadodara.
These cases are believed to be around one to one-and-a-half months old, and both patients were females. Both patients have reportedly recovered normally.
Additionally, two other cases of the EG.5 strain were reported in Ahmedabad, and one case was recorded in Bengaluru, according to the GBRC data.
Although Gujarat has maintained single-digit active Covid cases for more than 40 days, the numbers increased from two cases on Wednesday to four on Thursday.
Ahmedabad and Vadodara contributed one case each, in addition to the existing cases from Aravalli and Vadodara, as reported by the state health department.
The data from Thursday shows that 516 daily tests were conducted to identify Covid cases.
It must be noted that the Eris variant is suspected to be responsible for a surge in Covid cases across various countries, including the US and the UK.
International reports highlight symptoms associated with the Eris variant, that include cough, high fever, body ache, headache, weakness, fatigue, and runny nose, which are like flu symptoms. Given the recent rise in flu cases in the city and state, experts suggest some Covid cases may not have been accurately reported.
A doctor explained that Eris (EG.5) carries a mutation known as F456L, which is a mutation of XBB.1.5 and shares the same spike profile. International reports suggest that this mutation might reduce the neutralisation of most XBB.1.5-neutralizing antibodies.
However, he noted, “The clinical significance of this mutation is limited, as it doesn’t seem to increase severity or mortality. Despite the emergence of new strains, the presence of both vaccination and natural immunity provides a safety net.”
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