April 24, 2023 – The new COVID-19 subvariant XBB.1.16 is marching so rapidly around the globe that the World Health Organization has officially added the strain to its “variants of interest” list. 

While not officially named, the XBB.1.16 is being referred to as “Arcturus.” It has grown exponentially since appearing in India in January, and now accounts for 4.2% of global cases and 9.6% of cases in the U.S. The CDC has not issued an official watchlist designation for Arcturus.

The latest WHO summary highlighted XBB.1.16’s “immune escape characteristics,” predicting it will continue to account for more and more cases. However, “there…


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