New ‘Arcturus’ Covid variant in UK – India to see face masks return
A new strain of COVID-19 has placed India on red alert due to exploding infection rates. Dubbed ‘Arcturus’, the sub-variant of Omicron is thought to be the most contagious strain yet. So far 50 cases of Arcturus, also known XBB.1.16, have been reported in the UK.
Some states in India have brought back compulsory face masks in response to the latest outbreak which has seen infection rates spike 13-fold in the last month.
Arcturus was first discovered in late January, with the first cases in the UK found in March.
According to India’s Ministry of Health there were 40,215 active Covid cases on April 12, up by 3,122 in just one day.
These include positive tests recorded in both peoples’ homes and hospitals.
While figures from the Oxford University-run Our World in Data shows new daily cases reached 3,108 on April 4, up from 242 one month earlier.
A study by scientists at the University of Tokyo concluded that Arcturus is 1.2 times more infectious than the related Kraken Covid strain – also known as XBB.15.
They warned that the strain “will spread worldwide in the near future”.
Despite how transmissible the strain is, scientists believe it will not be particularly deadly, with symptoms resembling those of flu compared to other earlier variants.
Dementia – supplement combination could slash brain shrinking by 73%[STUDY]
Paul Potts’ breath ‘could knock out a donkey’ due to appendicitis[CELEB HEALTH ]
Scientists find drug that could treat severe fatty liver disease[INSIGHT]
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is currently monitoring the strain.
Doctor Maria Van Kerkhove, Covid technical lead for the WHO, explained: “It’s been in circulation for a few months.
“We haven’t seen a change in severity in individuals or in populations, but that’s why we have these systems in place.
“It has one additional mutation in the spike protein which in lab studies shows increased infectivity as well as potential increased pathogenicity.”
She also revealed that Arcturus had already been detected in other countries but so far there had been no reported changes in how severe infections are.
In its final variant report last month the UK Health and Security Agency said Arcturus was already in the UK.
And data collected from variant trackers report that the UK has now sequenced almost 50 samples of Arcturus.
Source: Read Full Article