BEIRUT — The quickly spreading EG.5 (Eris) variant of COVID has not yet appeared in Lebanon according to lab tests, the Health Ministry's director of epidemiology tracking, Nada Ghosn, said Thursday.
These tests are conducted regularly at the National Influenza Center at the Rafik Hariri University Hospital in Beirut.
The World Health Organization stated on Aug. 9 that Eris is a “variant of interest," adding that “available evidence does not suggest that EG.5 has additional public health risks relative to the other currently circulating Omicron descendent lineages.”
However, according to the WHO, this mutation should be closely monitored as additional mutations can make it more severe and contagious.
Ghosn told the state-run National News Agency that "the results of genetic tests will be added to the ministry's COVID weekly report on its website and updated results will be issued next week and announced in due time."
"If [Eris] is confirmed, the ministry will announce it with full transparency."
The WHO noted that, as of Aug. 8, the Eris has been found in more than 50 countries. Today it is the most common and fastest-growing variant in the United States.