EIn a statement, the WHO justifies the alert with the fact that this lineage, resulting from the XBB.1.9.2 recombinant subline of the Omicron variant, presents “characteristics that evade antibodies” and is at “growth advantage”.
The WHO points out that, despite these factors and the “increased prevalence” of EG.5, no changes in the severity of the covid-19 disease (caused by SARS-CoV-2) and the risk to global health that it poses have so far been reported. the variant represents is low.
According to the WHO, there was a “considerable increase” in cases in the week of July 17th to 23rd, a period in which the global prevalence rate of EG.5 rose to 17.4% (four weeks earlier, the prevalence was 7.6%).
The EG.5 strain was first reported to WHO in February and on 19 July was designated as a variant under monitoring.
Now, in light of the “risk assessment” carried out, the WHO has decided to classify EG.5 (and its underlinings) as a variant of interest.
The EG.5 strain has an additional mutation at the F456L amino acid in the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein (coronavirus surface protein that binds to human cells) when compared to the XBB.1.9.2 recombinant strain that gave rise to it and with the XBB.1.5 recombinant subline, both of the Omicron variant.
The EG.5.1 subline has yet another mutation in the spike protein and represents 88% of the genetic sequences available for the EG.5 strain and its sublines.
As of Monday, 7,354 EG.5 genetic sequences from 51 countries, including Portugal, had been submitted to the international platform for sharing genomic data GISAID, according to the WHO.
China leads the list of countries with the most submitted EG.5 genetic sequences (2,247), followed by the United States (1,356), South Korea (1,040) and Japan (814).
Covid-19 is a respiratory disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, a type of virus detected in late 2019 in China and which has spread rapidly around the world, taking on several variants and subvariants, some more contagious than others.
Since March 11, 2020, Covid-19 is a pandemic. Last May it ceased to be an international public health emergency.
Read Also: Covid-19? Countries are underreporting deaths and hospitalizations, says WHO
Always be the first to know.
Seventh consecutive year Consumer Choice for Online Press.
Download our free App.