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US witnesses spike in latest Covid variant cases, HV.1 accounts for over 25% of total infections


The United States has been witnessing a spike in new highly contagious COVID-19 variant ‘HV.1’ cases. This variant is credited for over a quarter of all coronavirus cases since October end, Hindustan Times reported. 

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the HV.1 variant which is also dominating EG.5 aka Eris accounted for an estimated 25.2% of all newly diagnosed cases during the two-week period till October 28. 

In July, the HV.1 variant accounted for only 0.5% of the total coronavirus cases. However, it had increased to over 12% and now become the most dominant strain in the US, as per CDC data. 

In an interview with, Dr. William Schaffner, professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center said that people can consider the HV.1 COVID-19 variant as a ‘grandchild’ of Omicron. 

“The COVID family of viruses likes to mutate. We’ve all learned that by now. HV.1 is still very close to the existing omicron subvariants,” he told 

Dr. William stated that some of the common symptoms for the HV.1 variants are congestion, runny nose, headache, fatigue, cough, sore throat, and muscle aches or chills.

The officials have now started examining the HV.1 variant to deal with a possible surge in winters. Following HV.1, EG.5, also known as Fornax, FL.1.5.1, and XBB.1.16, also known as Arcturus, were the most prevalent variants in the United States, the report said. 

All you need to know about EG.5 Covid variant

The World Health Organization (WHO) has earlier categorized the EG.5 strain of the Covid-19 virus as a ‘variant of concern’. The variant was reported on 17 February this year and later designated as a variant under monitoring (VUM) on July 19.

The international organization categorizes variants into three categories namely: a) variants of interest b) variants of concern and c) variants of high consequence. EG.5 is a sub-variant of omicron and is considered to be a descendant of the XBB lineage of the virus.

WHO has advised the countries to share information on the growth advantage of the EG.5 variant and also provide its sequence information. 

The global health body along with its Technical Advisory Group on COVID-19 Vaccine Composition (TAG-CO-VAC) assesses the impact of variants on the performance of COVID-19 vaccines in order to inform decisions about updates on vaccine composition.

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Updated: 14 Nov 2023, 10:29 AM IST

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.