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The ongoing emergence of COVID-19 variants every two months is concerning due to the virus’ ability to evolve unpredictably. The potential impact of the new Arcturus strain on vulnerable populations, students, and the economy is a cause for concern.
Arcturus, a subvariant of Omicron first identified in India, has been included in the CDC’s monitoring list following its involvement in 7% of the COVID infections in the United States. A strain that has also been reported as causing red and itchy eyes in young patients.
A new COVID variant, XBB.1.16, is causing a surge in pediatric COVID cases in India, with doctors noting an increase in conjunctivitis among children, and reports suggesting already an increase in the US, Singapore, and Australia.