• May 28, 2024

Does Covid version Arcturus now have conjunctivitis or pink eye? 2023

Since the epidemic began, Covid-19 has caused conjunctivitis, or pink eye. Early Covid-19 symptoms were infrequent. Pink eye has returned with Covid infections caused by XBB.1.16 or Arcturus, mainly in children. Doctors believe it’s too early to identify if pink eye is related to Arcturus or a new symptom.

Conjunctivitis is a highly infectious infection of the conjunctiva, the thin, transparent covering that covers the white surface of the eye and inner eyelid.

Dr. Mridula V Amarnath, Ophthalmologist, Apollo Clinics, HSR Layout, Bengaluru, says conjunctivitis symptoms include red eyes, discharge or crusting on eyelids, watery eyes, excessive tears, grainy or scratchy feeling in the eye, sensitivity to light, and eye discomfort.

XBB.1.16—what’s new?

XBB.1.16 or Arcturus possesses spike protein mutations that make it more infectious and more prone to evade immunity from previous infections and immunization. Symptoms remain minor.

Arcturus, a subvariant of Omicron, is the second most prevalent Coronavirus strain with a high transmission rate. This new Indian strain has increased mutations that prevent protective antibodies from binding. So it can readily infect adults.

Symptoms include sore throat, high fever, runny nose, frequent headaches, gastrointestinal issues, diarrhoea, muscular, and joint discomfort, and red eyes. “This could be a symptom of this new variant, but it’s too early to tell,” says Dr. Rajeev Gupta, Director of Internal Medicine, CK Birla Hospital (R), Delhi.

In the previous two weeks, COVID-19 instances have been rising nationwide, but hospitalizations and severity are still low. XBB.1.16 or Arcturus causes most Covid-19 positive instances. This variation is concerning due to its high infectivity, ability to circumvent immune responses, and greater transmission rate (particularly in elderly and young).

“This Covid-19 variant has pink eye in addition to cough, cold, fever, body pain, fatigue, and abdominal pain,” says Dr. Charu Dutt Arora, Infectious Disease Specialist, Consultant Physician, AmeriHealth, Asian Hospital.

Covid conjunctivitis symptoms

They include watery eyes, redness, irritation/itching, swelling, discomfort, and discharge, especially in children under 12. Children have poorer immune systems than adults. Thus, immunization and boosters are essential. Even without an antibody match, this reduces infections and sickness severity. Dr. Gupta also advises social separation, masks, and handwashing.

Pink eye (conjunctivitis) is inflammation and swelling of the translucent membrane covering the eyelid and eyelashes. Redness, itching, gritty sensation, and crust over the eyelids/eyelashes are symptoms. Pink eye affects children most. One explanation is touching eyes after nose and mouth.

Lungs, eyes, and noses are susceptible to Covid-19 infection. Due to lens use, elderly people have more pink eye. Dr. Arora recommends washing hands, keeping dogs out of the bedroom, decreasing pollen, and utilizing air filters to reduce pink eye symptoms.

Other conjunctivitis causes

“While newborns are more likely to have bacterial conjunctivitis, adults are more likely to have viral conjunctivitis, which is self-limiting after a week or ten days and frequently requires no treatment. Summer heat evaporates tears. Dry eyes, pollen, animal dander, and pollution increase the risk of allergic conjunctivitis. Also neglected.

Topical antihistamines and mast cell stabilizer eyedrops can help. Use contact lenses correctly under medical supervision. Dr. Amarnath advises using antibiotic eye drops to prevent bacterial conjunctivitis.

Conjunctivitis treatment

  • Avoid touching eyes.
  • Handwashing often
  • Replacing eye makeup often
  • Never share towels, makeup, handkerchiefs, or eye drops.
  • Maintaining contact lens hygiene
  • Sunglasses protect against dust and UV rays.

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