EG.5 Variant Accounted For The Majority Of U.S. COVID Cases Last Week: CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that COVID-19 variant EG.5 accounted for the majority of coronavirus cases in the U.S. as of Saturday as the virus continues to spread across the country.

EG.5 made up 17.3% of total COVID cases in the country from July 23 to Aug. 5, the CDC said. This represents a 5.4% increase from the week before.

Researchers have noted the variant has “a slightly beneficial mutation,” according to CBS News.

The CDC was not able to generate projections for where rates of COVID-19 variants are highest in the country due to lack of data, CDC spokesperson Kathleen Conley told CBS News.

Meanwhile, the CDC reported COVID hospitalizations were up 12.5% in the week ending July 29, while the trend in COVID deaths remained unchanged during the same period.

Overall, “COVID-19 indicators, including hospital admissions, emergency department visits, test positivity, and wastewater levels, are increasing nationally,” the federal agency said.

The U.S. is not the only country where EG.5 is spreading. The UK Health Security Agency said EG.5.1, a subvariant of EG.5, had a weekly growth rate of 20.51% as of July 20.

EG.5 has been designated as a currently circulating variant under monitoring by the World Health Organization.

The WHO said last week in its weekly COVID epidemiological update that while the public health emergency around the virus has ended, coronavirus “remains a major threat.”

The WHO also noted “reported cases do not accurately represent infection rates due to the reduction in testing and reporting globally,” urging its member states to maintain their COVID infrastructure.

The Biden administration recently announced the creation of an office to coordinate the government response to long COVID, defined by the CDC “as signs, symptoms, and conditions that continue or develop after initial COVID-19 infection.”

Up to 23 million Americans have developed the condition, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

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