COVID in Argentina: the new subvariant Eris was detected in Córdoba and the City of Buenos Aires

COVID in Argentina: the new subvariant Eris was detected in Córdoba and the City of Buenos Aires

The subvariant of Ómicron EG.5, known colloquially as Eris In social networks, it was already detected in 2 people with COVID in Argentina. One of those affected resides in the City of Buenos Aires and the other person in Córdoba, according to the latest epidemiological bulletin of the Ministry of Health of Argentina.

One of the cases, as reported Infobae Last Wednesday, it was identified from genomic sequencing in the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area (AMBA) carried out by Proyecto País, the genomic surveillance consortium with support from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The symptoms of subvariant EG.5 They are: sore throat, runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing, coughing, headache and hoarse voice. You can also generate muscle aches and an altered sense of smell. Shortness of breath and fever are less common.

“To date, they were identified Two cases isolates of the variant of interest EG.5 in Argentina, one of them from the surveillance of respiratory viruses in the Ambulatory Monitoring Units in the province of Córdoba and another case with residence in City of Buenos Aires. The cases were detected through genomic surveillance conducted by the Federal Network of Genomics and Bioinformatics” wrote the epidemiologists of the Ministry of Health.

In Argentina, confirmed COVID cases remain low compared to previous years. But it must be considered that Currently, not everyone who has the infection is tested And that is why they are not registered in the surveillance system.

In the second week of January In the past, 2,245 confirmed cases of COVID were reported as a daily weekly average, if the date of onset of symptoms is taken into account. Then the patients with the infection were fewer and fewer. At the end of June there was a slight increase and then they went down again.

However during the last half of July COVID cases in Argentina have been rising.

There were 76 cases as a daily weekly average in the week of July 17, and they went to 107 and 127 in the following two weeks, he told Infobae Jorge Aliaga, PhD in Physics from the National University of Hurlingham, in the province of Buenos Aires, which conducts a weekly analysis of official data.

In the week of August 7, there were 109 cases as a daily weekly average, and more may still need to be loaded into the surveillance system. “Also in July there were small upward variations in terms of the number of deaths,” Aliaga added. It cannot yet be said that the increase in cases is associated with the circulation of EG.5.

“But we do know,” Aliaga clarified that Every time a new subvariant came in, there was a significant rise in the case curve.s, much more than because it’s winter.”

The EG.5 subvariant was identified in China in February 2023. It was first detected in the United States in April. In that country, it is already causing about 17% of new COVID-19 cases, compared to 16% for the next most common, XBB.1,16, according to the latest estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In total, already 52 countries have detected cases with the diagnosis of COVID that have GD.5. It is a descendant of the XBB.1.9.2 variant of Omicron And it has a mutation that stands out. It is the mutation in the extra spike protein Q52H, which helps it evade antibodies developed by the immune system in response to previous variants and vaccines.

That advantage may be the reason why EG.5 has become the dominant sublineage worldwide, and could be one of the reasons why Covid cases have started to rise again.

On August 9, WHO published its first risk assessment of GD.5 and classified it as a variant of interest. While simultaneous increases in the proportion of hospitalizations for GD.5 and COVID-19 se have been observed in countries such as Japan and the Republic of Korea, no associations have been made between these hospitalizations and the subvariant.

However, due to its growth advantage and immune escape characteristics, EG.5 can cause an increase in the incidence of cases and become dominant in some countries or even globally.

“It’s concerning that it’s increasing, but it doesn’t look like much different from what’s already been circulating in the U.S. for the last three or four months,” he said. Andrew Pekosz, professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “So I think that’s what tempers my concern about this variant, right now.”


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