“The public health risk posed by EG.5 is assessed as low globally, in line with the risk associated with XBB.1.16 and other variants of interest currently in circulation.” This is what the WHO said in a risk assessment associated with the new EG.5 variant.
For about a month, EG.5 has attracted the attention of the health authorities: identified for the first time in February, on 19 July it was included among the variants under monitoring by the WHO and, to date, it has been identified in 51 countries. In the latest survey by the World Health Organization, whose data refer to the week between 17 and 23 July, the global prevalence of EG.5 was 17.4%, more than doubled compared to a month earlier.
To date, WHO explains, “although EG.5 has shown a higher prevalence, growth advantage and ability to escape the immune system, no changes in disease severity have been reported to date.” Furthermore, even in the countries where infections and hospitalizations have grown, it does not appear that these are due to particular characteristics of EG.5.
Given the characteristics of the variant observed so far, WHO continues, in the near future “EG.5 may cause an increase in the incidence of cases and become dominant in some countries or even globally”.
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