The media is sounding the alarm over the newest COVID variant – Eris or EG.5. The mainstream media is already making a push for Americans to mask up as the new variant begins to spread.
The latest COVID variant is called Eris – named after the Greek goddess of strife and discord. The new strain is a descendant of the Omicron variant.
The World Health Organization noted, “EG.5 is a descendent lineage of XBB.1.9.2, which has the same spike amino acid profile as XBB.1.5.”
The WHO stated that EG.5 is a “variant of interest.”
NBC News reported that EG.5 symptoms are “unlikely to differ much from those caused by other omicron subvariants,” which would “include fever, cough, fatigue, muscle aches, and headache.”
Scott Roberts, MD, a Yale Medicine infectious diseases specialist, said Eris is not much different from other recent strains, but “there is some extra degree of immune evasiveness because of a slight difference in genotype.”
Yale Medicine stated, “However, EG.5 does have one new mutation in its spike protein (the part that facilitates virus entry into the host cell) that can potentially evade some of the immunity acquired after an infection or vaccination.”
Roberts admitted, “I am not aware of data that suggests EG.5 leads to worse cases of COVID-19 compared to prior variants.”
NBC News noted, “Experts agree that many people probably have underlying protection from severe disease already.”
The first case of EG.5 was reported on Feb. 17, 2023.
The CDC reported that EG.5 was the dominant SARS-CoV-2 strain in the third week of August in the U.S., responsible for 20.6% of cases of COVID-19 in the United States. The second most contracted variant that week at 13.3% of cases, was FL 1.5.1, known as Fornax.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that COVID cases have increased by 14% in the past week and COVID deaths are up 8%.
According to Worldometer, the seven-day average of COVID cases was nearly 27,000 as of Aug. 18, compared to exactly a year ago when it was over 768,000. The pandemic high was 3.4 million COVID-19 cases on Jan. 26, 2022.
The legacy media is pushing for Americans to start wearing masks with the new Eris variant swirling around the country.
The New York Times advised, “As for how to behave in response to this trend, that’s a tricky question. Many experts still recommend wearing a mask in crowded indoor settings, but they know that not everyone will want to do so. If you’re at high risk for serious illness, you might want to mask up at the grocery store and avoid eating indoors at restaurants. Other people might just want to wear a mask at the airport, to avoid getting sick during that big summer vacation.”
The Washington Post advocated, “Vaccines and boosters still should be encouraged, as should safe social practices such as wearing face masks and keeping rooms well ventilated, health experts say.”
The TODAY show recommended “wearing a mask in crowded, indoor spaces.”
National Geographic published an article titled: “The EG.5 COVID variant is spiking in the U.S. Is it time to mask up?”
“We should take all of these subvariants very seriously. Using testing kits, when symptoms suggest it could be COVID-19, and masking up and staying home if COVID positive, can slow the spread of the new variant. We need to minimize the spread of the virus as much as we can,” Angela Rasmussen – a virologist at Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization in Saskatoon, Canada – told the outlet.
The U.K.’s Independent published an article with the headline: “New COVID wave has begun and masks should be worn again, scientists warn.”
A New York hospital has already reinstated its mask mandate because of the new variant.
Syracuse’s Upstate Hospital announced this week: “Effective immediately, mandatory masking is required by all staff, visitors and patients in clinical areas of Upstate University Hospital, Upstate Community Hospital, and ambulatory clinical spaces.”
The updated COVID vaccines are expected to be released this fall by Pfizer and Moderna, and are said to combat the Eris variant.
“These new results, which show that our updated COVID-19 vaccine generates a robust immune response against the rapidly spreading EG.5 and FL.1.5.1 strains, reflects our updated vaccine’s ability to address emerging COVID-19 threats,” Moderna President Stephen Hoge, MD, said in a press release.
A Pfizer spokesperson told CNBC that the company’s upcoming shot “effectively neutralized” several omicron variants, including Eris and XBB.1.5, in a recent study on mice.