Pink eye and COVID-19

What To Know About ‘Arcturus’: New Covid Variant Causing Pink Eye

Arcturus: The new COVID-19 Subvariant

Key Background

The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified a new COVID-19 subvariant, called Arcturus. Arcturus is a descendant of the recombinant variant XBB, which stems from two separate BA.2 sublineages. It is one of 600 omicron subvariants circulating the world.

Arcturus Origins

Arcturus was first detected in India in January 2023. It quickly became the dominant variant in India, and is now responsible for the country's biggest COVID-19 surge in seven months. As of March 2023, there have been over 61,000 cases of Arcturus reported in India.


The symptoms of Arcturus are similar to those of other COVID-19 variants, but there are a few key differences. One of the most common symptoms of Arcturus is pink eye (conjunctivitis). Pink eye is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the clear membrane that lines the eyelids and covers the white of the eye. It can be caused by a number of things, including viruses, bacteria, and allergies. However, pink eye is also a common symptom of COVID-19.

Another common symptom of Arcturus is a high fever. Fevers are a common symptom of many infections, including COVID-19. However, the fevers associated with Arcturus are often higher than those associated with other variants.

How the Coronavirus Can Affect Your Eyes

The coronavirus is a respiratory illness that can cause a range of symptoms, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, and fatigue. In some cases, the virus can also affect the eyes.

The coronavirus can spread through the eyes, just as it does through the mouth or nose. When someone who has coronavirus coughs, sneezes, or talks, virus particles can spray from their mouth or nose onto your face. You are likely to breathe these tiny droplets in through your mouth or nose. But the droplets can also enter your body through your eyes. You can also become infected by touching your eyes after touching something that has the virus on it.


There is no specific treatment for Arcturus. Treatment is similar to that of other COVID-19 variants and includes supportive care, such as rest, fluids, and over-the-counter pain relievers. In some cases, antiviral medications may be prescribed.


The best way to prevent Arcturus is to get vaccinated and boosted. Vaccinations help to reduce the risk of infection, and they also help to reduce the severity of illness if you do become infected. Other preventive measures include wearing a mask, social distancing, and washing your hands frequently.


Arcturus is a new COVID-19 subvariant that is causing concern in India. It is more transmissible than other variants, and it can cause more severe illness. However, there is no need to panic. There are things you can do to protect yourself from Arcturus, and there are treatments available if you do become infected.

Source: World Health Organisation


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