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Newest COVID variant EG.5 shows up in Washington state

Washington, (Qnnflash) – While Seattle and Washington state continue to report relatively low COVID-19 case numbers, concerns are emerging among researchers about the potential rise in infections due to a newly identified variant that has gained the status of concern by the World Health Organization (WHO) this week.

Known as EG.5 or unofficially referred to as Eris on social media, this variant is a descendant of the Omicron strain. Recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that EG.5 is now linked to about 17.3% of COVID-19 cases nationwide as of August 5, marking a notable increase from the 7.5% recorded during the first week of July.

Despite the relatively stable COVID-19 situation in Washington, there has been a slight uptick in the number of cases in recent weeks. The state Department of Health (DOH) reported an increase from 18 cases per 100,000 people mid-month to 24 cases per 100,000 people by the end of July.

However, even with the limited rise in cases, there are indications of growing COVID-19 metrics. Notably, emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and individual case counts have seen an increase over the past two weeks, according to Eric Chow, Chief of Communicable Disease Epidemiology and Immunization for Public Health – Seattle & King County.

As concerns about the EG.5 variant mount and certain COVID-19 metrics show signs of escalation, health authorities and researchers are closely monitoring the situation and emphasizing the importance of continued vigilance and preventive measures to curb the potential spread of the virus.

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