The new COVID-19 strain known as “Arcturus” has increased in the U.S. so much that it has been added to the CDC’s watch list.
Officially labeled XBB.1.16, Arcturus is a subvariant of Omicron that was first seen in India and has been on the World Health Organization’s watchlist since the end of March. The CDC’s most recent update now lists Arcturus as causing 7% of U.S. coronavirus cases, landing it in second place behind its long-predominant Omicron cousin XBB.1.5, which causes 78% of cases.
Arcturus is more transmissible but not more dangerous than recent chart-topping strains, experts say.
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