Corona variant Arcturus: Possible symptom identified

Even if the corona pandemic is considered to be over, new variants are still being closely monitored by experts. So current in the case of XBB.1.16, also called Arcturus. For example, physicians were able to identify a symptom that indicates infection with this omicron subline.

It was only announced in March that XBB.1.16, which had spread rapidly in India, was causing experts concern for various reasons. The WHO put the variant on its watch list due to an increased infectious capacity.1 Cases of the corona variant Arcturus have now also been observed in the USA and a specific symptom was noticed.

Symptom observed in Arcturus

After the new corona variant had also reached Los Angeles County, health experts in this region issued an official press release to educate local residents and sensitize them to possible signs.2 Although Arcturus is currently only responsible for eight percent of the corona cases in California and ten percent of the cases in the USA, there are first indications of a specific symptom of the new variant.

The information letter states: “Observational data suggest that people infected with XBB.1.16 are more likely to present conjunctivitis as a symptom of their Covid infection, in addition to the usual Covid symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. Conjunctivitis can be painful and itchy, is highly contagious and, if left untreated, can damage the cornea. In the past, conjunctivitis was reported in one to three percent of Covid-19 cases.”

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Also interesting: How to treat conjunctivitis properly

People from risk groups should pay attention to this

Conjunctivitis does not automatically mean that you are infected with Arcturus. For such a conclusion, both the observed cases of XBB.1.16 and conjunctivitis are insufficient. There can also be other causes, such as pollen allergies, behind conjunctivitis.

However, the experts want to make people from risk groups in particular aware that if they have this symptom, they should also consider a corona infection, test themselves and see a doctor.

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situation in Germany

There are also documented Arcturus cases in Germany, but according to the RKI there are still very few.3 There have not yet been any reports of specific symptom observations.


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2023-05-03 00:31:44


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