EG.5 makes up 11% of US cases: 7 notes on the new subvariant

Health officials have recently started tracking EG.5, an omicron relative that accounts for an estimated 11.4 percent of U.S. COVID-19 cases. 

As of July 22, the strain was most prevalent in HHS region 1, which includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont, the CDC's latest variant proportion estimates show

Five more notes: 

  • The World Health Organization added EG.5 to its list of variants under monitoring July 19. It is a descendant of XBB.1.9.2 and has an additional mutation in the spike protein. 


  • Its prevalence has risen globally since late May, according to the WHO. Its global prevalence was estimated at nearly 13 percent for the week ending July 9. 


  • There is no evidence the strain is linked to rising cases or deaths or to a change in disease severity. There is not yet hard data, though experts anticipate new boosters slated to be ready in September would offer better protection against any XBB sublineages than the current bivalent shots. 


  • Variant trackers are referring to the strain as "Eris," though it has not officially been assigned a name from the WHO. 


  • A sequencing dashboard run by Raj Rajnarayanan, PhD, assistant dean of research and associate professor in the department of basic sciences at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, shows EG.5 is among the top circulating lineages in New York, where there has been a slight uptick in hospitalizations. The dashboard uses data from GISAID, a global data-sharing platform for viruses.

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