RIYADH — The Saudi Ministry of Health has emphasized that EG.5, the new coronavirus variant, does not have any noticeable effect on disease rates or severity, and hence it is not required to take additional health measures.
In reply to a query about the new mutant, a source at the ministry told Okaz/Saudi Gazette: “So far, EG.5 isn’t setting off any alarms as far as disease severity is concerned.”
The ministry is following up the developments of the genetic sequence of the coronavirus (COVID -19), and has monitored several sub-mutants of Omicron, including the EG.5 mutant, through the laboratories of Public Health Authority (Weqaya), the source said.
A descendant of Omicron, EG.5 or Eris is already the dominant coronavirus sub-variant, infecting more people than any other single strain. So far, EG.5 isn’t setting off any alarms as far as disease severity is concerned, although early reports showed it may be more transmissible. It has surpassed XBB.1.16, another highly contagious Omicron sub-variant that was in the news just a few months ago.
EG.5 variant is currently the most dominant coronavirus causing strain in the United States. On August 18, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated EG.5 was responsible for 20.6 percent of new infections.