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New COVID-19 Variant ‘EG.5.2’ Detected in Egypt

August 22, 2023
Photo credit: Unicef
Photo credit: Unicef

Two confirmed cases of the new COVID-19 variant EG.5.2 have been detected in Egypt, announced to the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population in a statement released on 22 August.

The ministry’s statement revealed that the two cases showed mild symptoms and are currently recovering.

The ministry’s preventive medicine department has been monitoring medical centers nationwide for cases of influenza-like illnesses, acute respiratory diseases, and pneumonia. Following the detection of symptoms in a patient, the department takes throat and nasal swabs from these cases to undergo tests for influenza, COVID-19, and Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).

Unofficially called ‘Eris’, the new COVID-19 variant is currently the dominant strain globally.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), EG.5 is a descendent lineage of XBB.1.9.2, a mixture subvariant of the infamous Omicron variant.

WHO has reported that EG.5, while more transmissible, does not pose any greater threat than previous variants of the virus.

Like other Omicron strains, EG.5.2 infects the upper respiratory tract, causing a runny nose, sore throat, and other cold-like symptoms.

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