What is 'Eris', the new COVID variant?

STORY: COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations are on the rise…

and health officials are pointing to a new variant – EG.5, also nicknamed "Eris."

So what do we know about it and should we be worried?

The World Health Organization classifies EG.5 as a "variant of interest" that should be carefully watched.

Eris is a subvariant of the Omicron lineage that originally emerged November of 2021.

But despite mutations that might make the variant more severe and contagious,

the WHO says Eris currently does not seem to pose more of a threat to public health than other variants.

As of August 8, Eris has been found in more than 50 countries. That's according to the WHO.

It is the most common and fastest growing COVID subvariant in the U.S.

According to the CDC, it’s estimated to be responsible for around 17% of all current cases.

Pfizer, Moderna and Novavax have all created new versions of their vaccines

to target another Omicron sublineage - XBB.1.5 – which is similar to Eris.