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Health Minister Zaliha Mustafa reports that a total of 12 cases containing the Covid-19 XBB.1.16 (Arcturus) subvariant have been found throughout the country. Sarawak had six cases, Selangor had four, and Kuala Lumpur had two.

The XBB.1.16 subvariant was initially discovered in the nation in March, but according to Dr. Zaliha, everything was under control and there was no burden on the country’s healthcare institutions.

What is Arcturus?

The new sub-variant, abbreviated XBB.1.16, is known as Arcturus.

It is a recombinant variant derived from BA.2.10.1 and BA.2.75, the two descendants of another Omicron variant BA.2. It was originally discovered in late January in India.

According to the WHO, the sub-variant has one more mutation in the spike protein, which in tests in the lab has been shown to increase pathogenicity and infectivity. According to another study from the University of Tokyo, the variant spreads 1.17 to 1.27 times more quickly than the XBB.1 and XBB.1.5 strains, raising the possibility that it may soon spread globally.

Despite the fact that the XBB.1.5 strain appears to be eluding immunity and dispersing more swiftly than earlier strains, it does not appear to be causing more serious illness. Therefore, according to WHO, there is little risk associated with this variation.

Symptoms of Arcturus

According to physician and past chair of the Indian Academy of Paediatrics Committee on Immunisation Dr. Vipin Vashishtha, the symptoms of Arcturus include high fever, cough, headaches,sore throat, itchy conjunctivitis or pinkeye and so on.

Conjunctivitis and other eye infections have been observed in a large number of new patients.

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How to protect yourself from Arcturus

You can better prevent the variation if you are aware of its symptoms and warning signals. Reduce your chance of getting the Arcturus variety by using these preventative strategies.

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