Covid cases rise in Gloucestershire as Eris variant spreads
By Laura Enfield | 7th August 2023
Gloucestershire has seen a rise in new Covid cases as concerns are voiced about the new Covid variant dubbed Eris.
A descendant of Omicron, it now accounts for one in seven new Covid cases, according to the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).
It was first classified as a variant in the UK on July 31 and the World Health Organisation adding it to its watch list under the identification of EG.5.1 soon after.
A study by ZOE shows more than 800,000 people across the UK are now predicted to have Covid symptoms.
Figures from today (Aug 7) show Wiltshire has the highest concentration of cases- an estimated 24,835 which is 50,406 per million people.
Kent actually has one of the highest number of current cases at 26,408 but this only equates to 17,007 per million people.
Gloucestershire has 11,878 cases which is 18,944 per million people. In the first week of July 17 new cases were registered. In the last seven days this has risen to 43 cases.
According to government data the county has had 218,296 cases in total with 1,827 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Eris is now the second most prevalent variant in the UK, after Arcturus which makes up almost half of all infection cases at 39.4 per cent, according to UKHSA.
The surge in Covid cases comes as estimated numbers jumped by almost 200,000 last month, from 606,656 predicted cases on July 5 to 785,980 on July 27, according to The Zoe Health Study, which estimates figures for UK Covid infections.
Experts have said the spike could be down to the bad weather or even a surge in cinema goers following the release of Barbie and Oppenheimer.
The government's COVID-19 surveillance for the week ending August 3 also showed rates had continued to increase.
Of the 4,396 respiratory specimens reported 5.4% were identified as COVID-19. This compares to 3.7% of 4,403 from the previous report.
Hospital admissions increased to 1.97 per 100,000, up from 1.17 per 100,000 the previous week. ICU admission rates have decreased from 0.07 to 0.05.
Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at the UKHSA, said: "We continue to see a rise in COVID-19 cases in this week's report.
"We have also seen a small rise in hospital admission rates in most age groups, particularly among the elderly.
"Overall levels of admission still remain extremely low and we are not currently seeing a similar increase in ICU admissions. We will continue to monitor these rates closely."
In Greek mythology, Eris is the goddess of discord, strife, and chaos. She is known for her disruptive and mischievous nature, often causing conflicts and disharmony among gods, mortals, and even inanimate objects.
What are the symptoms?
Eris is a strain of Omicron. According to the ZOE Health Study, the five most common symptoms of Omicron are:
Fatigue (mild or severe)
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