A new variant of Covid-19, EG.5, entered the World Health Organization (WHO) list of “variants of interest” this month. So far, Ministry of Health (Minsa) It is recommended that the entire population complete the vaccination program against the virus, especially the bivalent vaccine. The EG.5 variant or commonly known as Eris is currently available in 51 countries.
the ministry said trading Eris has not yet been officially discovered in Peru. However, “it’s only a matter of time before it arrives“, explain Roger Araujo, Infectious Disease Physician, Minsa National Institute of Health (INS). “We did genome monitoring (…) and until last week, the last run, we hadn’t found EG.5 here.But in many surrounding countries“, he added.
EG.5 has been considered a variant by WHO, but it is a descendant of Omicron. The world body reassures that there is no evidence that Eris produces more severe disease than other variants or sub-variants. In a study classified as “preliminary risk assessment” as of August 9 this year, the World Health Organization said the overall risk assessment was low. However, he explained that, given its genetic profile, EG.5 can spread globally and lead to increased cases.
Countries with more new variants are: China, the United States, South Korea, Japan, Canada, Australia, Singapore, the United Kingdom, France, Portugal, and Spain.
In this line, Raúl Urquizo, Dean of the Peruvian College of Medicine (CMP)Since the variant is present in several countries, it will arrive in Peru soon, according to the company. Furthermore, he said that Eris “is yet another subvariation of Ómicron, like the new son of Ómicron. The information we have is that it spreads quickly but is less aggressive, especially for those who have received the bivalent vaccine.It causes mild to moderate illness, no information when severe“.
Manuel Espinoza, an infectious disease physician at the Daniel Alcides Carrión Institute of Tropical Medicine at UNMSM, said that while EG.5 is not officially registered in Peru, “We should assume this is because we are in a globalized world. (Covid-19) samples tested for genotyping, but because we can’t find it there now, not because it doesn’t exist, but because it does’, he pointed out.
Regarding the symptoms of EG.5, Manuel Espinoza said, these symptoms may be confused with respiratory infections such as the common cold. Symptoms may include a sore throat, low-grade fever or runny nose, he explained. In this regard, the INS representative added that since this new variant is a descendant of Omicron, the symptoms are similar: sore throat, cough, runny nose, blocked ears, etc. “This is a problem because it’s no different than the flu or the common cold“, explain.
A bivalent vaccine is recommended for protection
Faced with this situation, the Ministry of Health advises the public to complete their vaccination program against Covid-19, especially boosting the bivalent vaccine, as this includes Ó micron lineages such as EG.5. The CMP dean believes Minsa must act now to promote the bivalent vaccine because, despite efforts, the number of people vaccinated remains low. According to Minsa’s Reunis portal, Only 16% of the population over the age of 18 has this data: 1,583,136 people.
Infectious disease doctor Roger Araujo believes that the main control measure against Covid-19 is vaccination. He explained that “These vaccines were originally designed based on the original virus (the one in early 2020), but the virus keeps changing. EG.5 differs from previous viruses in many ways. For this reason, last year Pfizer and Moderna updated their vaccines with ones designed for Omicron. Thus was born the bivalent vaccine, which consists of the original virus and Ómicron“.
In this sense, he said that people who have been vaccinated this year and need a booster vaccine should get the bivalent vaccine. This is even more important for the elderly and the immunocompromised, he added.
Minsa is administering the Covid-19 vaccine at various locations in Lima and Callao. Some of them are Campo de Marte, Jesús María; Widena, São Luis; IPD Bayóvar and Huiracocha Regional Park, San Juan de Lurigancho; Brasil Ramblas Shopping Center, Breña; Legends Park, San Miguel and many more . Learn about other vaccination centers and times you can click here.