Is pink eye a new COVID symptom?

(KTLA) – A new coronavirus subvariant is commencing to spread in the U.S. and, in accordance to wellbeing professionals, it could be producing an aggravating symptom to return.

In accordance to the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention, around 10{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e} of all COVID cases reported previous 7 days ended up identified to be from the omicron-connected XBB.1.16 subvariant, becoming referred to by some as Arcturus.

Following initially being documented in January, the Planet Wellbeing Corporation declared XBB.1.16 a variant of fascination in mid-April, The Hill experiences.

The Los Angeles County Division of Public Well being is warning citizens that this omicron sub-strain of COVID-19 may arrive with an annoying symptom: conjunctivitis

Commonly recognized as pink eye, wellness officers also documented that pink eye could be joined to COVID early in the pandemic. Then once again last 12 months, professionals warned there could be a connection involving the then-new omicron variant and itchy, irritated eyes.

Now, some well being officials are reporting an increase in conjunctivitis conditions nationwide.

That involves Los Angeles County, where the overall health division has warned that pink eye might be the most recent achievable symptom of COVID.

“Observational details implies that persons contaminated with XBB.1.16 may be extra probably to experience conjunctivitis as a symptom of their COVID infection, alongside with additional classic COVID signs and symptoms, these types of as fever, cough and shortness of breath,” the LA County Health and fitness Office explained in a assertion. “Historically, conjunctivitis was claimed in 1 to 3{fc1509ea675b3874d16a3203a98b9a1bd8da61315181db431b4a7ea1394b614e} of COVID-19 circumstances.” 

Conjunctivitis happens when the lining that handles your eyelid and eyeball, the conjunctiva, will become infected, optometrist Dr. Melanie Dombrowski tells Nexstar’s WGHP. Signs and symptoms involve eyes turning out to be pink or red, greater tear creation, discharge from the eyes, and itching, irritation, or burning, in accordance to the CDC.

Pink eye is popular with respiratory infections like the chilly and flu.

Nevertheless, with the minimal details out there, the division said it is “too early to know with certainty” if XBB.1.16 is definitely involved with better charges of conjunctivitis. 

“Residents really should be aware that itchy, watery or purple eyes might be a signal of a COVID-19 infection and these indicators ought to not be merely dismissed as a result of pollen or seasonal allergy symptoms, in particular if another person additional susceptible to critical illness could be uncovered,” the Wellness Office stated. “The simple fact that we are viewing new strains, with maybe new and various indications, tells us that COVID carries on to evolve and the way we believe about our protections must replicate what we know.” 

You ought to speak to your physician if you have pink eye as very well as pain in the eyes, sensitivity to light, blurred eyesight, intense redness, signs or symptoms that are not increasing or get even worse, or a weakened immune system, according to the CDC.

More mature grownups and men and women with fundamental health and fitness disorders are encouraged to choose further precautions to steer clear of an infection, which contains being up to day on vaccinations, frequent hand washing, and staying residence when feeling ill.

Nevertheless officials say Arcturus may perhaps be extra powerful at escaping immune response than other subvariants, it doesn’t appear any far more intense.