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Covid-19 Health News

Eris, the new COVID-19 strain, now dominant in Georgia and the U.S., being closely watched by health experts


After robbing over a million people of their lives, COVID- 19 slowly faded into the background, but experts say it is on the rise again with a fast-spreading new COVID subvariant, nicknamed “Eris” by public health watchers.

 This is now the dominant strain circulating in Georgia and the rest of the U.S., say the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC estimates for a two-week period ending Saturday, the EG.5 variant, a descendant of omicron, makes up about 17% of cases around the U.S., surpassing other strains. 

In the eightstate Southeastern region that includes Georgia, the variant represents an estimated 16% of cases, according to the CDC. According to the most recent data from the CDC, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations is now at the highest level since April in Georgia, While the number hospitalized remains low — far lower than were seen in the past three summers — public health officials and doctors are closely watching the recent uptick and the EG.5 variant Eris.

The FDA recently voted to update the fall COVID-19 vaccine formulation to target the variants and is expected to authorize the vaccine by month’s end with shots expected to be available in September or early October. 

Health officials expressed confidence in managing the virus through vaccines, natural immunity, treatments, and preventive measures that are aligned with the multifaceted approach that has been recommended by public health organizations around the world. Doctors say we are at the point where nearly every death is preventable because of the development and authorization of updated vaccines to target specific variants and fight against evolving viruses to manage the impact of the viruses. 

At least 96% of adults in the U.S. have either been infected by COVID-19, providing natural immunity, or have been vaccinated. Many fall into both categories. As for Georgia, data from the CDC shows there were 11 deaths in the state for the week ending July 22 in which COVID-19 was an underlying or contributing cause of death.


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