According to Zsolt Boldogkői, Director of the Institute of Medical Biology at the University of Szeged, the new omicron variant, Eris, is widespread throughout Europe, reports Index.
The newest variant of COVID-19 was identified in the UK at the end of July, where it has been infecting an increasing number of people ever since. The variant called Eris is putting many people in hospital and is responsible for 20 percent of cases in Asia, reports Infostart.
Zsolt Boldogkői said,
the COVID variant has recently started to spread with really strong dynamics, and the number of hospitalizations has also increased dramatically, by 12 percent in one month.
The doctor added: “It is not certain that this trend can be attributed to Eris. It is possible that the weather conditions have played a significant role, as there has been a lot of rainfall this summer, that has often forced people into confined spaces. Humid and moist air and the fact that UV radiation is much lower also favor the spread of the virus.”
Eris symptoms are not as severe as earlier variants, but it is spreading faster than the previous rapid omicron variants. There are also fewer complications with this type of disease, with no likelihood of required life support use or death.
The Hungarian government has ordered 340,000 Janssen vaccines. This raises the question of what to expect in the autumn and winter? According to Zsolt Boldogkői, no one knows whether COVID could return harder in autumn or winter. He believes it is essential to investigate the virulent effect of Eris on health. It is more likely that a ‘whole population’ vaccination program will not be needed in the coming months.
This is possible, says the expert, because
the virus as a whole is weakened, and the immunological defenses of humans are still in place despite the steady decline.
The virus is certainly present in Hungary, but it is not known in what proportion. It is important for immunocompromised people and the elderly to seek vaccination, but even they may not need it.
A major epidemic wave is not expected this summer, though it is possible in the autumn. However, the impact is likely to be very far from what it was during the second or third wave, Boldogkői concluded.
Via Index, Featured image via Pexels