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WHO Now Tracking ‘Arcturus,’ a Highly Transmissible Covid Variant

WHO Now Tracking ‘Arcturus,’ a Highly Transmissible Covid Variant

Arcturus has a new symptom that has not been prevalent in previous covid variants: Pink eye.

It hasn’t been a full week since Biden officially ended the federal government’s covid emergency order, yet new reports are coming out that the World Health Organization (WHO) has its eye on a new Omicron variant more infectious than “Kraken.”

A new COVID-19 variant is causing concern in India — and it may be 1.2 times more infectious than the Kraken variant.

The new strain, dubbed Arcturus, has increased 13-fold in the last month in the country.

Arcturus — technically the Omicron subvariant XBB.1.16 — caused India’s health ministry to launch mock drills in order to see if hospitals are properly prepared to handle a potential influx of COVID patients.

Arcturus — one of more than 600 Omicron subvariants — was first detected in January. It’s being monitored by the World Health Organization, with some officials noting it had some mutations of concern.

The variant has been detected in other countries as well, but most of the cases were in India, where it took over other variants.

It’s been circulating in the U.S. for the past several months.

Health chiefs first detected ‘Arcturus’, a highly infectious spin-off of Omicron, in New York in late January. But it has since spread to 26 more states and triggered 235 cases, with hotspots emerging in California, New Jersey and Virginia.

…California is the hotspot for the new variant in the United States, with 54 sequences recorded to date.
What is ‘Arcturus’ and should we be worried?

Rounding out the top five are New Jersey, 38 cases, Virginia (25) Texas (23) and New York (21).

The other states where the strain has been detected are: Washington, Illinois, Florida, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Utah, Ohio, Minnesota, Maryland, North Carolina, Nevada, Iowa, Indiana, Hawaii, Delaware, Connecticut, Wisconsin, Oregon, Michigan, Massachusetts, Louisiana and Colorado.

Arcturus has a new symptom that has not been prevalent in previous covid variants: Pink eye.

But XBB.1.16 may not be just another run-of-the-mill Omicron. Dr. Vipin Vashishtha—a pediatrician in India and former head of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Immunization—tweeted Thursday that pediatric cases of COVID are on the increase for the first time in six months, and that “an infantile phenotype seems emerging.”

The symptoms he’s now seeing among children:

  • High fever
  • Cough
  • “Itchy” conjunctivitis—or pink eye—without pus, but with “sticky eyes”

The latter symptom hasn’t been seen in earlier COVID waves, he noted.

For those of you interested, the new variants are being named for mythological entities.

Like similar new Covid variants, virus trackers online decided to call XBB.1.16 ‘Arcturus’ following a pattern of naming new strains after mythological entities.

Arcturus means ‘Guardian of the Bear’ and is related to the constellation called the Great Bear.

I wonder how many of the world mythologies the experts are going to go through before they tire of tracking the subvariants? Until then, here’s hoping the trajectory of increasingly more mild infections continue.


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The Gentle Grizzly | April 15, 2023 at 2:09 pm

Which of Pfizer’s Chinese labs devised this variant?

    The only genetic engineering was the spike protein in the original COVID pandemic virus, released in 2019. Since then, it’s just been natural mutations, which are to be expected since this virus is less stable than even influenza and the rhinovirus.

    That’s why I’m pretty sure COVID-19 started as an accident in the lab, rather than an intentional bioweapon. Not even the Chinese government is stupid enough to develop and release a war virus that mutates faster than anyone can develop vaccines.

      JohnSmith100 in reply to markm. | April 18, 2023 at 8:51 pm

      I am pretty sure that Wuhan 19 Coronavirus was not an accident and that release was intentional. Considering China’s unrestricted warfare policy, we should not give then any benefit of doubt.

nordic prince | April 15, 2023 at 2:15 pm

Forget all the breathless fear porn about “covid” – the real question is when are they going to trot out the fake alien invasions to scare people to death?

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to nordic prince. | April 15, 2023 at 3:05 pm

    Tune in to Mercury Theater of the Air. That Orson Welles fellow is supposed to have a real treat in store for us.

    countryboy1947 in reply to nordic prince. | April 15, 2023 at 5:18 pm

    That worthless organization, the WHO, would track any disease they could think up, that would scare people as much as possible, right up their own backsides, if they could, in order to gain as much power and control as possible over ignorant sheep posing as human beings. Why this one even has a real scary name. Great job guys! Better than anything you have made up before.

    These people make me want to get out my vomit bucket as every time I see the name of that evil apparatus posted somewhere I usually end up throwing up my lunch. Haven’t we heard enough of this vile crew yet?

BierceAmbrose | April 15, 2023 at 2:20 pm

We know that viruses mutate.

If they’re running the universal health care system because in all their smartness they can do it better, then checking capacity, and gearing up for business as usual would be a good thing.

Also, none of this should be noteworthy.

Indeed, with all the bio-smarts, plus delivery-system wrangling, why were we ever at risk of running out of hospital beds?

I get that some shallow admini-drone could try to drive their beds full numbers into the designated safe zone. Good operative. Have a golden sickle for your file. Folks running a health care delivery system might wanna take into account how many lives they are destroying to keep from running out of beds. Let’s not forget that in NYC, the emergency charity ward setup by WrongThinkers was rejected out of hand, like the much-demanded federal support arrived in the form of a hospital ship full of beds that went unused.

The gameskeepers continue to non-propagate a whole inventory of known interventions that reduce both probability of any given bad outcome, and severity in the meanwhile. These work generally across “variants” (so far), and tend to help with resp viruses in general.


It’s like people’s “health” is not the point.

There never would have been a pandemic if not for human interference. Bring on AI!

    For example, today at Just the News (hard to know what can be cited with approval, althoug it’s curious one of the contributors here publishes at the dastardly site):

    “Former CDC Director Robert Redfield’s biggest fear for a future pandemic is a genetically manipulated bird flu, given that NIH-funded scientists in 2012 published instructions for making such a pathogen cross the “species barrier” to humans, a highly unlikely result from viral evolution.

    He’s worried about terrorists using the research and the perils of unrestricted gain of function, and suggest a worldwide moratorium on the latter. Could not agree more.

      What makes you think there is anything “dastardly” about Just the News? This entire parenthetical is ludicrous, actually: “(hard to know what can be cited with approval, althoug it’s curious one of the contributors here publishes at the dastardly site)”

        It was about the other site, the one that makes some lose their marbles over. Or did you forget just yesterday, where the “dastardly” site was discussed in absolute terms that were, frankly, silly, and an insult to the intelligence of people that are quite capable of discernment.

        What is ludicrous is something completely different, but have better things to do than waste time in the matter, especially when it’s likely you knew what was meant. Does the contributor here mentioned also write at Just the News?

        Maybe there should be a list of approved sites for geting or rejecting information, to not raise the ire of some commenters. Seeing the overreaction yesterday was a sight. Will leave it there from this end.

      You’re right 🙂

E Howard Hunt | April 15, 2023 at 4:38 pm

I cannot bear this ursine-named mutation.

    henrybowman in reply to E Howard Hunt. | April 15, 2023 at 5:03 pm

    If it attacks kids, shouldn’t it be named after a kid’s mythology?
    Like the Wonkavirus, or the Pikaflu?
    I know! It should be named after Winnie the Pooh! It’s a twofer.
    It honors where COVID comes from, and also where most kids’ pinkeye comes from.
    By the way, the best treatment for pinkeye? Do nothing, it just goes away.
    Relieve symptoms only, with artificial tear eyedrops and cold wet cloths.
    Count Floyd voice: Isn’t that scaaaaaaaary, kids?

    The Gentle Grizzly in reply to E Howard Hunt. | April 16, 2023 at 5:19 pm

    it certainly gives me paws…

Dude at this point they could try and tell me it was CPT Tripps and it would take several waves of population die off for me to be convinced. The public health community has lost my trust over their many lies, distortions and simply wrong conclusions based on weak data and they have done jack to attempt to regain it.

    countryboy1947 in reply to CommoChief. | April 15, 2023 at 5:24 pm

    Big YES on the lost trust in any bureaucratic agency. Covid, and these fool’s reactions to it poisoned the water forever!

Arcturus (bear) virus. Why does the World Health Organization (WHO) hate bears??

Wasn’t thath the drummer for Lynard Skynard???

Interesting. Around here in AZ, I was sick for about 10 days with what I thought was a cold except there was a fever for a few days and I had sticky eyes. I hadn’t had that symptom when getting a cold for quite a long time. Pretty much everyone I know ended up getting sick over the next month or 2 and having the same progression of symptoms which also included a cough and mild laryngitis. Tested negative for Covid, but I wonder if the tests even work with the new variants?

Oh noes! Yet another, even more transmissible variant! Run for the hills!

And it includes pink eye!!! Yeeeeeargh!!! We’re all gonna die!

Can we please</strong) reintroduce wolves and bears to DC? I mean big hungry ones who like vegans (but are willing to eat people who smell of Waygu and expensive wine).

    GWB in reply to GWB. | April 17, 2023 at 2:23 pm

    Dangit. Can you please replace the ‘)’ with a proper alligator bracket after that “please”, please?