Milan, September 9, 2023 – The Covid pandemic continues to wreak havoc as new variants emerge and cases surge once again. Despite living with Covid for more than three years, the recent uptick in infections, hospitalizations, and deaths has raised concerns among health experts.
The two prominent variants contributing to the current increase in cases are the Pirola (BA.2.86) and the Eris (EG.5). Specialists believe that these variants have a greater capacity to undermine the immune defenses, even in individuals who have previously been infected or vaccinated.
It is not surprising that viruses evolve, as we have witnessed with Covid, in an attempt to survive and find “hospitality” within human bodies. Unfortunately, this continual evolution poses a challenge in controlling the virus’s spread.
The symptoms associated with the new Eris variant, which is now dominant in Italy, are similar to those seen in previous variants such as Omicron. Many individuals infected with the Eris variant report experiencing symptoms akin to common allergies, including a runny nose, cough, sore throat, and upper respiratory tract congestion. However, what sets the Eris variant apart is its ability to infect the lungs. Initial research suggests that this characteristic could result in more severe symptoms, particularly in vulnerable patients.
In contrast, the Pirola variant appears less frequent at the moment. Nevertheless, it may pose a greater danger due to a high number of mutations on the Spike protein. These mutations could potentially render previous vaccinations or infections less effective in providing immunity against the Pirola variant. As a result, health experts are considering the need for an updated vaccine to combat this variant during the upcoming autumn season.
In addition to the usual symptoms, individuals infected with the Pirola variant may experience a high fever of up to 39°C, as well as cold-like symptoms and a loss of taste or smell.
The rise in cases and the emergence of these new variants emphasize the continued need for caution and preventive measures. It is crucial to follow public health guidelines, including practicing good hygiene, wearing masks, and getting vaccinated. Health authorities are closely monitoring the situation and working tirelessly to understand these variants and develop effective strategies to mitigate their impact on public health.