A NEW Covid variant, the second most prevalent in the country, is now making up Worcestershire cases.

EG.5 and EG.5.1 - descendants of Omicron - has been nicknamed 'Eris' and now makes up one in seven cases in the UK.

The Zoe health app says the symptoms of the new variant to look out for are similar to other Omicron sub-variants.

The symptoms are a runny or blocked nose, headache, fatigue, sore throat and sneezing. 

The latest data, for the seven-day period ending August 10, shows Worcester has had 14 cases of the variant with a rate of 14 per 100,000 population. 

Malvern Hills has had six cases with a rate of 7.6 per 100,000 and Wychavon - which includes Evesham and Droitwich - had 18 cases with a rate of 13.7.

Redditch has had 11 cases with a rate of 12.9 per 100,000, Wyre Forest - which includes Kidderminster - has had 15 cases with a rate of 14.8, while Bromsgrove currently has 17 cases with a rate of 16.9.

Earlier this month the World Health Organisation (WHO) designated EG.5 as a 'variant of interest' after it was reported in 51 countries.

It was first detected in February and the WHO increased its monitoring status in July after a spike in cases, particularly in Asia. 

The latest UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) data shows it is now making up 11.8 per cent of UK cases as of July 27. 

The WHO has said on the evidence available so far the "public health risk posed by EG.5 is "low at global level" and similar to the other Omicron sub-variants that emerged in recent years.

The WHO also hasn't found an increase in disease severity compared to previous sub-variants.