Pharmacist Shares Main Symptoms of Pirola and Eris Covid Variants – Consider a Mask


It has been over three years since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the extreme infection rates have subsided, the lingering impact of the disease persists. Despite the removal of mask mandates and isolation rules, many nations are witnessing a resurgence in Covid cases, including the United Kingdom.

Current Covid Situation in the UK:

According to data from the ZOE Health Study, as of September 1, the UK reported 92,965 new cases of symptomatic Covid. This marked a significant increase of over 42,000 cases compared to August 1. Estimates from ZOE indicate that approximately 1.15 million people in the UK are currently affected by Covid, equating to one in every 58 individuals.

The Role of New Variants:

One of the contributing factors to this resurgence is the emergence of new Covid variants, including Eris and Pirola. These variants are descendants of the highly contagious Omicron strain, which was initially documented in the UK in 2021.

Symptoms of Pirola and Eris Variants:

Abbas Kanani, a pharmacist at Chemist Click, sheds light on the primary symptoms associated with these new variants:

  • Pirola Variant Symptoms: Sore throat, runny or blocked nose, cough with or without phlegm, and headaches.
  • Eris Variant Symptoms: Sore throat, runny nose, blocked nose, sneezing, dry cough, headache, wet cough, hoarse voice, muscle aches, and altered sense of smell.

Traditional Covid symptoms like shortness of breath, loss of smell, and fever are now less commonly reported.

Consider Wearing Masks:

Mr. Kanani recommends considering the use of face coverings in certain situations despite mask mandates no longer being in place. He advises, “Although mask-wearing is no longer mandatory, you could consider wearing a face covering if you’re in close contact with other people or in crowded places.”

Notably, Eris has become the second most prevalent Covid variant in the UK, leading to a surge in hospital admissions. While the Pirola variant has accumulated a high number of mutations, there is no current evidence suggesting rapid spread or increased lethality. Vigilance and monitoring remain essential, and panic is unwarranted at this stage.

Variant Designations:

Eris is also recognized as the EG.5.1 strain, while Pirola goes by the name BA.2.86.

Health Guidelines:

If you experience Covid symptoms, the NHS advises staying home and avoiding contact with others for at least five days, if possible. Furthermore, it is recommended to avoid contact with vulnerable individuals for a minimum of ten days after symptoms onset or a positive test result.

In these evolving times, staying informed and adhering to health guidelines is crucial in mitigating the spread of Covid variants.

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