COVID-19 hospitalizations increasing in GA

It’s called EG.5 or Eris and right now it's accounting for most new cases across the country.
It’s called EG.5 or Eris and right now it's accounting for most new cases across the country.(WWBT)
Published: Sep. 8, 2023 at 11:25 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - COVID-19 numbers are on the rise once again across the country.

Hospitalizations and case numbers are notably spiking for the first time this year. This comes as children are back in school, and a new variant is circulating.

“The EG.5 variant is now being called a ‘variant of interest’ by the WHO. It is increasing very rapidly in it’s number of cases across the world,” said Dr. Jodie Guest. She is a professor and the Senior Vice Chair of the Epidemiology Department at Emory.”

According to the CDC, nationally, new hospitalizations due to COVID-19 increased 16% in the last week.

Dr. Guest says here in Georgia, in the last month, hospitalizations rose 56%.

Pfizer, Moderna, and Novavax are all working on updated vaccinations for the Fall.

Dr. Guest said it is likely to become annual, like a flu shot.

“We are waiting for the CDC and the FDA to approve the newest COVID-19 vaccine,” she explained. “This will be the first time where we will see a Fall vaccine, and it will not be a booster anymore. It will be a yearly vaccine that we are going to hope everyone will take. We should be expecting some information from the CDC in the next two weeks, or maybe a month at the latest.”

With it also being the start of flu season, she noted the vaccinations will be safe to get together.

“If you’ve had an exposure or if you’ve had any symptoms that look like the flu or COVID, you do want to use an at-home antigen test or go to the hospital or your doctor to receive a PCR test,” Dr. Guest explained.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story misclassified the EG.5 variant. This story has been updated in accordance with the World Health Organization’s lineage for SARS-CoV-2 variant classifications.