Waco, TX (FOX 44) — After a decline there is a new Covid-19 variant slowly accounting for new cases.

It’s the Covid “Eris” variant. It was first detected in the U.S. in April and is the fastest growing Covid subvariant in the nation.

Baylor Scott and White Hillcrest medical director of inpatient medicine Dr. Marc Elieson says the Covid Eris variant is a mutated form of Covid Omicron.

Dr. Elieson says the effects of this version are less severe.

“That’s usually what viruses and other organisms do is over time they become more contagious but have less power to kill and to hurt people,” said Dr. Elieson.

Dr. Elieson says they’ve seen few to no patients at the hospital needing care for Covid.

National trends show the first increase in Covid-19 cases in nearly 8 months started in Mid-July.

“Just last week, we saw an uptick of 14 percent nationally in new cases that were hospitalized last week,” said Dr. Elieson.

Dr. Elieson says its a positive sign that Covid mutations are causing fewer symptoms.

“When they call something a new variant or a new subtype or sub variant. It’s because there’s been a meaningful mutation that now changes the way it looks from the way it looks from its predecessors,” said Dr. Elieson.

The new form of covid can still be detected at home.

“The at home tests are good and will pick up this new sub variant,” said Elieson.

Advent Health Central Texas emergency medicine physician Dr. David Hanscom says current covid vaccines and boosters can prevent the new strain.

“Up until the Covid-19 epidemic, there really weren’t any vaccines against these types of viruses. This is a new thing. It’s a different technology, so it definitely transfers some immunity to the virus and if you get it, you typically get less sick,” said Dr. Hanscom.

Looking at the year, Dr. Elieson and Dr. Hanscom say the summer and winter are high periods for covid cases.
Medical experts are now anticipating more cold, flu, and RSV cases as we enter back to school season.