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Eris: New COVID-19 coronavirus variant detailed

It has been almost four years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While lockdowns, mask-wearing and other precautions are no longer mandatory, the chance of catching Covid is still very real.

The latest data shows the UK has been experiencing another surge in Covid cases that started in July this year.

And the BBC reported that on September 14, more than 3,000 hospital beds were occupied by someone with Covid – three times the amount there were in July.

Health bodies have raised concerns that the spike in cases could be linked to new strains of Covid, including Eris and Pirola that were detected in the UK in July and August respectively.

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With this in mind, two experts spoke exclusively with Express.co.uk about the best way to stay protected against infection.

Alex Wilkins, director of hygiene and safety specialists ProCompliance, does accutane also help body acne warned that we could see a return to lockdowns or other mandatory measures if we aren’t careful.

“If people don’t protect themselves against Covid, we could risk another resurgence of outbreaks, or even lockdowns,” he said.

“Lockdowns are a painful reminder of what we want to avoid – they come with profound economic, mental health, and social costs.”

He urged people to get vaccinated and practise good hygiene.

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Alex said: “Getting vaccinated is one of the most effective ways to safeguard against severe illness and transmission of the virus.

“Vaccination significantly reduces the risk of infection and can mitigate the severity of symptoms if you do contract the virus.

“In addition, it’s crucial to practise good hygiene by frequently washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and using hand sanitiser when soap is not available.

“People who display symptoms should take the responsible course of action and stay at home.

“This can help to prevent the spread of the virus to those more vulnerable, including the elderly and people with underlying health conditions.”

He added: “COVID-19’s symptoms can be elusive, and they’re not limited to just a fever or cough.

“Some people may experience no symptoms at all, while others may develop serious complications, such as pneumonia or acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).”

He listed other less-common symptoms to look for as:

  • Loss of taste or smell
  • Rash
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pain
  • Palpitations
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Confusion
  • Seizures.

George Sandhu, deputy superintendent pharmacist at Well Pharmacy, echoed some of Alex’s concerns.

“We are starting to see COVID-19 cases rising in England,” he said. “The flu and Covid vaccination programmes have been extremely effective in protecting those at greatest risk.

“Throughout the pandemic we have learnt and know that it is difficult to predict or determine who is likely to get Covid.

“The number one defence available is to protect by having the booster particularly if you fall in the extremely vulnerable group.

“With growing concerns over new Covid variants, it is important that those who are eligible for an autumn booster vaccine come forward as soon as they can.

“Older people and those in the clinical risk groups remain at higher risk of severe illness.”

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