France is facing a new Covid-19 epidemic amid soaring summer temperatures in the northern hemisphere. The infections on the rise are caused by a subvariant of omicron, the EG.5.1 strain, called Eris, which spreads in countries of western Europe, the United States and Asia. The World Health Organization (WHO) says it is monitoring this new subtype of the coronavirus, which causes high fever, sore throat, cough, muscle aches and tiredness.
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During the Summer
As Eris spreads among French people and tourists, visits to emergency rooms have increased in several regions of the country. Doctors and scientists say they are not surprised by this return of Covid-19, as the summer season is marked by street parties, concerts, weddings, among other activities that bring together a significant number of people.
The first signs of the new Covid-19 epidemic appeared after the Bayonne Festivities, in the French Basque Country (southwest). The traditional multi-day celebration drew 1.3 million people in early August.
Most Affected Regions
The regions of the country with the highest number of positive cases are Pays de la Loire (+210%), followed by Normandy (+71%).