The Covid-19 outbreak continues to be a global threat, including in Indonesia. Recently, there has been a significant increase in cases of the EG.5 and EG.2 subvariants, better known as Eris. This information was obtained from analysis of data on the growth of Covid-19 cases in November 2023. This data revealed that around 58.9% of subvariant cases were detected in Indonesia.
Eris is actually not a newly emerged variant, because it has been detected since early 2023. This variant is a variation of the Omicron variant, which is currently still the main variant in the global spread of Covid-19. To find out more information, please see the article below!
Facts Regarding the New Covid-19 Variant
To increase awareness, it is important for the public to have a better understanding of some information regarding the Eris subvariant of Covid-19.
1. Can Spread Fast
The Eris subvariant of the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 is thought to have a higher transmission rate than other variants. According to John Swartzberg, an infectious disease expert from Berkeley's School of Public Health, this subvariant appears to be able to surpass the ability of other variants to spread.
2. Milder Symptoms
Even though it has a high level of spread, there are views indicating that the symptoms produced by this subvariant may not be as severe as the symptoms caused by other Corona variants.
3. Tricks the Immune System
Based on the WHO report, Eris subvariants have the ability to trick the immune system. Quoted from source Yale Medicine, EG.5 reportedly has a new mutation in a protein that could potentially evade some of the immunity acquired after a person is infected or vaccinated.
Symptoms of the New Variant of Covid-19
The following are some of the signs that appear in sufferers infected with the EG.5 Eris variant:
1. Throat Disorders
One of the common indications of Covid-19 is discomfort in the throat, which is also recognized as a symptom by WHO. Patients exposed to the EG.5 subvariant often experience difficulty swallowing, around 5-17.4% of Covid-19 positive sufferers also report this problem, as recorded in WHO data.
Apart from throat symptoms, coughing is also a common sign in Covid-19 sufferers, including those infected with the EG.5 subvariant. Coughing is the body's natural response to dealing with and expelling viruses. Unlike the common cold cough which only lasts 1-3 days, the cough in Covid-19 can last up to 2-14 days.
3. Nasal Congestion
Patients affected by EG.5 also often experience nasal congestion, which is a condition where increased nasal fluid causes the nose to become blocked.
4. Increase in Body Temperature
Fever is a common symptom when someone is infected with Covid-19. Increased body temperature is a response of the immune system to viral invasion. Therefore, fever is a sign that is generally experienced by Covid-19 sufferers.
Covid-19 patients can feel tired, including those infected with the EG.5 subvariant. This fatigue is caused by the immune system's attempt to fight infection, which can result in a lack of energy.
Apart from these five signs, some Covid-19 sufferers with the EG.5 subvariant also report difficulty breathing. Therefore, for those who experience these symptoms, they are advised to undergo a Covid-19 test and are instructed to regularly get Covid-19 vaccinations.
How to Prevent Exposure to the New Variant of COVID-19
Preventive measures against new variants of COVID-19, especially the Eris variant, can be taken in the following ways:
- Complete the full COVID-19 vaccination and get the booster dose as recommended.
- Wash your hands regularly using soap and running water or hand sanitizer.
- Avoid crowds or wear a mask in environments with poor ventilation, and maintain physical distance if possible.
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing using a tissue or the inside of your elbow.
- Immediately carry out a COVID-19 test if you come into contact with an individual who is confirmed positive or experiences cold or flu symptoms.
- Perform self-isolation when symptoms of COVID-19 appear.
Not only that, maintaining a healthy immune system can also be done by eating a balanced and nutritious diet, adopting a clean and healthy lifestyle, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and managing stress effectively.