New Covid Variant ‘Arcturus’ May Cause Different Symptoms
The new COVID virus variant ‘Arcturus virus’, also known as the XBB.1.16 strain, is a sub-variant of the original Omicron strain of Covid-19.
Arcturus variant has been identified in 22 countries, including Singapore, Australia, the UK, and the US. The World Health Organisation has been monitoring it since March 22.
The Arcturus variant has a second mutation in the spike protein, which laboratory experiments have shown to improve pathogenicity and infectivity. However, according to the WHO, it does not appear to be causing more severe illness than earlier strains.
The symptoms of the Arcturus variant are not significantly different from those of earlier versions of Covid-19. The major symptoms of this virus are fever, sore throat, runny nose, cough, body discomfort, myalgia, lethargy, and diarrhea. Patients who experience serious illness may experience symptoms related to respiratory distress, low oxygen saturation, and breathing shortness.
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One concern with the Arcturus variant is its potential to evade immunity acquired from prior infections or vaccinations due to its resistance to antibodies from other Covid types. This makes prevention an essential aspect of managing the spread of the variant.
To reduce the risk of catching the Arcturus variant, it is recommended to get vaccinated if not already done so. It is also important to maintain physical distance from others of at least one metre, wear a properly fitting mask in crowded or poorly ventilated areas, routinely wash hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitiser, cover mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing, and isolate if experiencing symptoms or testing positive for Covid-19.
People must understand the Arcturus variant and its effects so that they can take preventative measures to lower their risk of infection.
The situation is worsening thus it is essential to stay informed and follow guidelines from health authorities to help manage the spread of the virus.