Thailand Reports World’s First Death From New Covid Variant Arcturus
A new variant of COVID-19, Arcturus, has sparked alarm around the world after it claimed its first victim, health officials in Thailand have announced.
According to The Independent, the first death from the Arcturus strain, thought to be 1.2 times more contagious than the last major sub-variant, was reported in Thailand yesterday as cases continue to rise around the world.
“A total of 27 XBB.1.16 cases have been detected in Thailand as of April 17, and one of them has died,” said Thai PBS World Dr. Cyrillic is quoted as saying.
“The person who died was an elderly foreigner with underlying health conditions. Therefore, his death may not directly reflect the severity of this sub-variable, but rather its impact on other risk factors,” Supakit said.
Health officials have issued a warning about XBB.1.16 and urged the public to be cautious.
Arcturus or XBB.1.16 variant: Is it more dangerous?
Arcturus was first discovered in January. It is an omicron subspecies that is easily spread. The World Health Organization says that the XB.1.16 variant is similar to the XBB.1.5 variant but has an additional mutation. So, it can spread quickly but not lead to anything serious.
According to the WHO report, arcturus has replaced other species in India. It is spreading rapidly in the country, but hospitalization rates remain low. The variant leads to mild symptoms, and no serious complications have been observed so far.
What are the symptoms of Arcturus or XBB.1.16 variation?
Some of the common symptoms observed so far include:
- throat pain
- Runny nose
- Stomach problems
Recently, a new symptom has been added to the list especially reported in children. Experts have noted that many patients have itchy eyes, conjunctivitis and pink eye (without pus). These eye-related symptoms were not observed in earlier waves.