Arcturus, or the XBB.1.16 variant, was found in samples taken from three Moscow patients with suspected COVID-19. said Vladimir Gushchin, the head of the Laboratory for the Research of population variability mechanisms of pathogenic microorganisms of the Gamaleya National Research Center for Epidemiology and Microbiology. The Center is studying epidemiological risks related to the spread of Arcturus and other COVID-19 variants.
Compared with the most widespread Omicron sub-variant, this one features additional mutations, which, among other things, may affect its contagiousness. The course of the disease is relatively mild.
“In order to protect yourself from the new strain, take care of your health, get vaccinated and come for a booster dose. This is especially important for senior persons and those with a number of chronic diseases,” Gushchin said, adding that frequent hand washing and the use of personal protection are also important.
Cases of infection with Arcturus variant have been recorded in India, Singapore, the USA, Germany, and China.
Earlier, Rospotrebnadzor said that the decisive victory over COVID-19 in the Russian Federation is not going to be achieved soon as the virus is constantly evolving. having produced 611 genetic variants of Omicron strain of COVID-19 registered in the territory of the country.