Eris Variant

In recent news, a new variant of interest has emerged, known as the Eris variant or EG.5. Descending from the Omicron lineage of XBB.1.9.2, this variant has sparked attention due to specific mutations and its potential impact on global health.

This topic of “Eris Variant” is important from the perspective of the UPSC IAS Examination, which falls under General Studies Portion.

The Eris Variant: EG.5 Lineage and Mutation Details

Alias and Ancestry

Referred to as EG.5, the Eris variant is a descendant of the Omicron lineage XBB.1.9.2.

  • Specific Mutation in EG.5: F456L Amino Acid Mutation
    • This mutation is distinct when compared to the XBB.1.9.2 and XBB.1.5 lineages.
  • EG.5 Lineage Subvariant: EG.5.1
    • The EG.5 lineage further branches into EG.5.1, which exhibits an additional spike mutation known as Q52H.
    • This subvariant is predominant, representing 88% of sequences descended from EG.5, as reported by the WHO.

Significance of the Eris Variant

WHO’s Designation and Statement

The Eris variant has been designated as a variant of interest by the World Health Organization (WHO).

  • According to the WHO, EG.5 has the potential for global spread, and while it might contribute to a surge in cases, there is no direct evidence linking it to increased disease severity.

Timeline, Global Presence, and Prevalence

Initial Report and Spread

The Eris variant was first reported on February 17 this year.

  • As of August 9, the variant has been detected in 48 countries.

Country-Specific Prevalence

The prevalence of the Eris variant varies across countries, with China, the USA, and the Republic of Korea showing significant figures:

  • China: Initial prevalence at 24.7%, now at 45.0%.
  • USA: Initial prevalence at 5.6%, now at 12.8%.
  • Republic of Korea: Initial prevalence at 7.6%, now at 19.3%.

Eris Variant in India

In India, the Eris variant has also made its presence known:

  • Detected Locations:
    • Maharashtra: EG.5.1 variant detected in May.
    • Kerala: Presence noted.
  • Other State Case Counts:
    • West Bengal: 220 cases.
    • Uttar Pradesh: 60 cases.
    • Maharashtra: 98 cases.
    • Tripura: 17 cases.
    • Sikkim: 14 cases.
    • Odisha: 13 cases.
    • Haryana: 23 cases.
    • Delhi: 7 cases.
    • Himachal Pradesh: 10 cases.
    • Karnataka: 17 cases.
    • Telangana: 4 cases.
    • Mizoram: 4 cases.
    • Gujarat: 3 cases.
    • Tamil Nadu: 5 cases.

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