"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

New COVID variant on WHO radar causes itchy eyes in children

April 11, 2023 – A recent variant of COVID-19 that recently appeared on the World Health Organization’s radar may cause previously unknown symptoms in children, in keeping with a recent report.

Although the variant called “Arcturus” isn’t yet on the CDC’s watch list, a outstanding pediatrician in India is observing children with “itchy” or “sticky” eyes, as in the event that they had pink eye or conjunctivitis, in keeping with The Times of India.

In addition to the brand new symptom of itchy eyes, children are also experiencing high fever and cough, Dr. Vipin Vashishtha said on Twitter, noting that that is the primary time in six months that there was a rise in COVID cases amongst children.

The country can be seeing a rise in one other virus in children with similar symptoms: adenovirus. COVID and adenovirus can’t be distinguished without testing, and lots of parents don’t want to have their children tested due to the discomfort of the swabs. The Times of India reported. A physician told the newspaper that two or three out of 10 children with COVID-like symptoms tested positive in a house COVID test.

According to the BBC, health officials in India are conducting mock drills this week to ascertain how well the country's hospitals are prepared for the rising variety of cases in India. reportedIndia has been battling a wave of COVID-19 in 2021. Sick people were seen lying on the sidewalks of overcrowded hospitals and reports emerged of a black market where private individuals were buying oxygen.

Arcturus (formally omicron subvariant XBB.1.16) made headlines two weeks ago when it landed on the WHO radar after emerging in India. A WHO official called it “one to observe.” The Times of India reported that the country's recent 5,676 recent infections include 234 recent cases of XBB.1.16, meaning the subvariant accounts for 4% of latest COVID cases.