Tshwane cautions residents about new Covid-19 strain called Eris

A health worker prepares a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. Picture: File

A health worker prepares a dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. Picture: File

Published Aug 22, 2023


Pretoria - Residents in the City of Tshwane have been urged to take precautions amid the resurgence of a new Covid-19 strain in Gauteng.

MMC for Health Rina Marx said the municipality was monitoring developments related to the new strain, confirmed in the province last week.

The strain is known as the Eris variant, a sub-variant of the Omicron Covid-19 virus.

She said what was known about the new strain so far was that the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared Eris as a variant of concern.

Marx said: “Eris is highly transmissible but not considered to be more severe than other Omicron variants. Since the beginning of August, the new strain has been detected in more than 50 countries, according to the WHO.”

The symptoms of Eris were the same as other variants, including a fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue, runny nose and change in taste and smell, Marx said.

“The City of Tshwane health department urges residents to take precautions given the new strain’s transmissibility. Covid-19 vaccinations and boosters are available at all 24 of our primary health-care clinics,” she said.

She stressed that vaccinations remained important, especially for people with underlying health conditions, the elderly and those who are immune-compromised.

“Non-pharmaceutical interventions remain equally important – regular hand-washing, sanitising and wearing a face mask if you have flu-like symptoms. The City’s health department aligns itself with the national Department of Health in stating that there is no need for panic at this stage. Taking precautions can greatly mitigate the rapid spread of the new strain.”

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