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The latest subvariant that causes COVID-19 is spreading rapidly, but the World Health Organization considers it to be no more dangerous than the other variations of the novel coronavirus now in circulation.

A subvariant of the highly contagious Omicron variant of COVID-19, XBB 1.16 — also known as Arcturus — was initially detected in January 2023.

It has spread most widely in India but has been found in 31 countries, including the United States. . .

Brad Hutton, a public health consultant at Hutton Health Consulting and former deputy commissioner of public health at the New York State Department of Health, told Medical News Today that Arcturus “appears to have a competitive advantage to the current predominant variant in the globe, XBB.1.5. However, it is unlikely to be a major cause for concern since it does not appear to result in more severe illness than XBB.1.5.”

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