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The Latest COVID Variant Is Causing This Bizarre Symptom in Kids

Some children who contract the latest COVID variant are presenting with a new and unusual symptom: pink eye, or conjunctivitis.

According to TODAY, anecdotal reports suggest that the XBB.1.16 Omicron subvariant — already dubbed the Arcturus variant on social media — may be causing pink eye in pediatric patients. Although the United States government will declare an end to the COVID-19 public health emergency in May, some experts are anticipating a surge in cases from this new variant, which is highly contagious.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is currently the second most common strain of COVID in the U.S., tracking right behind XBB.1.5, its predecessor.

Here’s what parents need to know about the Arcturus XBB.1.16 variant, including which symptoms to look out for in children.

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