Jakarta, Reportase – There have been a total of 7 cases of Covid-19 subvariant Omicron XBB 1.16 or Arcturus in Indonesia. This figure represents an addition of 5 cases from the initial 2 cases.
“The new cases of Arcturus have increased to seven people, before there were only two,” Ministry of Health spokesperson Mohammad Syahril said in a press conference, quoted on Tuesday (18/4/2023).
Two initial cases, one has a history of overseas travel from India, while the other comes from local transmission. The two initial cases of this subvariant have been declared cured.
Syahril conveyed that the five additional cases came from two regions, namely from Surabaya and Jakarta.
“Two are from Surabaya and three are in Jakarta. Thank God, all of them are in a state of mild symptoms,” he explained.
The reported symptoms of XBB.1.16 are the same as the previous variant, namely fever, shortness of breath, and cough. However, many of those infected also reported conjunctivitis and experienced sticky eyes.
Richard Reithinger, an infectious disease epidemiologist at the non-profit research institute RTI International, further explained that conjunctivitis or eye infection had previously been reported as one of the symptoms of Covid19. However, the cases are not frequent.
Meanwhile researchers at the Truhlsen Eye Institute of Nebraska Medicine identified a virus in eye tears that can cause conjunctivitis.
Usually, these children come with simple respiratory infections in the form of coughs, runny nose and fever, and when they are tested positive for Covid.
Meanwhile, in adults, the main symptoms of XBB.1.16 tend to resemble the flu. These symptoms include a runny nose, sore throat, and cough.
It appears to be resistant to antibodies from other Covid variants, which has raised concerns about its potential to evade acquired immunity from previous infections or vaccinations.
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