Home › Forums › COVID-19 › HIGHLY TRANSMISSIBLE XBB.1.116 COVID SUBVARIANT ‘ARCTURUS’ SPREADING IN US: CDC
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2023-04-16 at 17:57 #400298Nat QuinnKeymaster
Sun 16 Apr 2023:
Since the pandemic began more than three years ago, numerous variants have emerged as the virus that causes COVID-19 evolved. As the COVID public health emergency ends, case numbers drop and concerns subside, another new variant has caught the attention of scientists.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), incidences of the “Arcturus” variety of the novel Omicron subvariant XBB.1.16, which has been increasing in India, have been documented across the country.
In its weekly bulletin, which was posted on Friday, CDS reported that the new variant is responsible for 7% of the new cases reported this week.
This is the first time that CDC has flagged separate Covid cases under XBB.1.16. Previously, all infections were clubbed under the XBB variant.
Most of the Covid cases accounted for in the US are due to XBB variants, with XBB.1.5, also known as “Kraken,” believed to be representing more than three-quarters of cases. Experts, however, note that levels are waning.
Meanwhile, the Southeast Asia region is witnessing a spurt in cases due to XBB.1.16. WHO’s Southeast Asia region said that India, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Bhutan, and Timor-Leste have reported a nearly 500 per cent rise in cases month over month.
Reported cases are also trending upward in the Eastern Mediterranean region—there, they’ve increased slightly more than 100% month over month.
The World Health Organization has considered the strain a “variant under monitoring” since March 22, and as of Friday, cases have been confirmed in around 20 countries. “Arcturus” is responsible for a surge in case counts in parts of the world, including India, where itchy or “sticky” eyes have been most often reported in children.
According to the WHO’s report on Thursday, the new strain has been discovered in 29 countries thus far, with instances doubling between the final full week of March and the first half of April.
The Arcturus variant is considered more transmissible and immune-evasive than its predecessors and may escape immunity acquired by previous infections or vaccines.
The symptoms are common with most of its predecessors, but doctors in India have noted a slight change, especially in children and the elderly.
Cases of conjunctivitis, or pink eye, without pus, but causing “sticky eye” have been reported among children in the country. It’s a symptom that hasn’t often been noted with other Covid variants.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared XBB.1.16 a “variant under monitoring” in late March saying that it is the most transmissible variant yet.
Maria Van Kerkhove, Covid technical lead for the WHO, said, XBB.1.16 variant is considered “one to watch” by the world health body.
Recombinant versions of the subvariants BA2.10.1 and BA.2.75 make up XBB.1.16. The variant spreads 1.17 to 1.27 times more quickly than its relatives XBB.1 and XBB.1.5, according to a preprint study from researchers at the University of Tokyo, and they predict that it “will spread worldwide in the near future” because it appears “robustly resistant” to antibodies from other Covid variants.
Despite COVID rates being at a low level, doctors still insist that people adhere to COVID prevention measures, which include washing your hands frequently, avoiding close contact with people who are sick and staying home if you feel sick or have any COVID symptoms.
SOURCE: INDEPENDENT PRESS AND NEWS AGENCIES
source:HIGHLY TRANSMISSIBLE XBB.1.116 COVID SUBVARIANT ‘ARCTURUS’ SPREADING IN US: CDC (independentpress.cc)
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