MANHATTAN, N.Y. (PIX11) — It’s not 2020, but there is a new COVID-19 strain out there that is a concern to medical experts and a new COVID booster is in the works. 

But are we all suffering from COVID fatigue?  

“Yes, we may be sick of COVID, but we’re sick of everything,” Dr. Len Horovitz, a Lenox Hill pulmonologist, told PIX11 News. “We are sick of flu, and we all get our flu shots.”

Dr. Horovitz says he’s seeing an uptick in COVID cases with this new variant called EG5 or Eris. 

The World Health Organization says 17% of all new cases are now Eris as opposed to XBB. 

This new variant, according to Dr. Horovitz, is a spinoff of the omicron variant. The EG5 cases, so far, have been mild. 

“There seems to be a new booster coming as early as next month and I would wait for that,” Dr. Horovitz said. “Most people have hopefully had the bivalent booster last fall which will cover this variant. But every vaccine is retooled to cover previous variants and also the variant of the moment.”

Dr. Horovitz says hospitalizations have yet to go up because most people have been vaccinated or have had COVID, there’s a hybrid immunity out there so doctors are not seeing severe illness right now.  

“It’s not 2020,” Dr. Horovitz said. “It may not be more than a bad cold, but it’s still with us and you certainly don’t want to give COVID to some immune-suppressed people, or those at risk of severe illness.”

But with many people now getting COVID for a second, third, or fourth time, is there a chance for lingering, more debilitating illness like long COVID each time you get infected? 

“Long COVID is a whole different subject,” Dr. Horovitz told PIX11 News. “It can happen with one infection. It’s not like the more infections you get the higher risk of long COVID.”

There are two more steps before the new EG5 booster will be out, so it may be a little bit later than late September. It could be early October since two more steps are needed to get a green light from the FDA and a new recommendation from the CDC.