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  • Writer's pictureBy The Financial District

New COVID Variant Takes Hold In Japan

As the new EG.5 coronavirus variant spreads globally, experts are warning that it is somewhat more infectious than prior strains and may continue to take hold within Japan, Rikka Teramachi reported for Mainichi Japan.

EG.5 infections are spreading in Japan. I Photo: m-louis .®

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Aug. 9 designated EG.5 as a "variant of interest." WHO said EG.5 accounted for 21.1% of infections worldwide between July 24 and 30.

It is slightly more infectious than the previously dominant XBB strain and more able to evade the immune system. While the variant represents a growing number of infections in East Asia, North America, and Europe, there are no reports indicating it leads to more severe illness.

EG.5 infections are also spreading in Japan. According to materials from a Tokyo Metropolitan Government analysis, EG.5 accounted for 26% of the total number of cases from July 24 to 30, becoming the leading variant in the country.

As the EG.5 strain takes over, could the number of infections rise?

All the news: Business man in suit and tie smiling and reading a newspaper near the financial district.

Atsuo Hamada, a specially appointed professor at Tokyo Medical University and expert on infectious diseases, said, "It is unlikely that the number of cases will increase rapidly due to EG.5 alone, but it is necessary to keep watch on the situation."

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