CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A new coronavirus variant now accounts for the largest portion of Covid infections in the U.S.

This new variant EG.5 also nicknamed Eris made up an estimated 17 percent of new cases nationwide over the last two weeks. That’s up from just under 12 percent during the prior two-week period, and less than one percent as of late May.

Eris is a subvariant of omicron, and it has gained dominance in the U.S. EG.5 has likely evolved to become more transmissible than previous strains of omicron.

Hospitalizations keep trending upward state by state. Here in Massachusetts, new data from the CDC show a 24 percent increase statewide in hospitalizations. But overall, the risk level is still considerably low.

Some of the most common symptoms include cough, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, and an altered sense of smell. These symptoms could progress over time and you may have difficulty breathing as the infection spreads into your lungs.

While this uptick may seem sudden, doctors say this actually reflects the increase in cases that we saw last year. Several factors contribute to new cases, waning immunity, increase in travel, and even the weather.

There will be newly updated covid boosters that will be distributed this fall that could offer some protection.

Local News

Melissa Torres is a reporter who has been a part of the 22News team since 2021. Follow Melissa on X @melissatorrestv and view her bio to see more of her work.