New COVID-19 pressure Arcturus might trigger pink eye, LA County well being officers say

New COVID-19 pressure Arcturus might trigger pink eye, LA County well being officers say

LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Los Angeles County public well being officers are warning residents {that a} new pressure of COVID-19 could also be tied to pink eye.

Well being specialists haven’t conclusively linked pink eye, also called conjunctivitis, to the brand new pressure. Nonetheless, native officers are asking the general public “take the identical smart COVID precautions” to keep away from an infection.

L.A. County Public Well being Director Barbara Ferrer stated final week the hyperlink between the pressure Arcturus, or XBB.1.16, and pink eye is barely from “observational knowledge,” and it stays too early to find out if the emergence of the brand new pressure really is linked to larger charges of conjunctivitis.

“Nonetheless, residents ought to be conscious that itchy, watery or purple eyes could also be an indication of a COVID-19 an infection and these signs shouldn’t be merely dismissed because of pollen or seasonal allergic reactions, particularly if somebody extra weak to extreme sickness could possibly be uncovered,” in response to the well being division.

Present vaccines and therapeutics are extremely prone to stay protecting and in a position to keep at bay extreme sickness attributable to the brand new pressure, in response to the well being division.

The well being division says pink eye could be painful, itchy and extremely contagious. If left untreated, it could trigger harm to the cornea. Traditionally, conjunctivitis was reported in 1-3% of COVID-19 instances.

Three confirmed instances of the brand new pressure have been reported in L.A. County final week. Modeling by the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention estimates that Arcturus accounts for 8% of COVID instances in California and 10% nationally.

Metropolis Information Service contributed to this report.

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