There has been a recent uptick in the number of cases of the subtype of coronavirus in India, and ever since then, the Internet has been rife with stories concerning the virus.
At the end of March, the World Health Organisation (WHO) identified XBB.1.16 as a "variant under monitoring" and stated that it is the most transmissible variant so far. The XBB.1.16 version is seen as "one to watch" by the
According to Dr.
An infectious disease epidemiologist at RTI International named
Researchers at the Truhlsen Eye Institute of Nebraska Medicine had previously detected the virus in the tear film of the eye, which had the potential to lead to conjunctivitis. Eyes that are watery or tearing, redness, swelling, pain or irritation, itching, and discharge are some of the symptoms that the Institute lists as being associated with conjunctivitis.
XBB.1.16 is the result of genetic recombination between two subtypes of the BA.2 virus. It was suggested in a preprint study conducted by researchers at the University of Tokyo that the variant spreads approximately 1.17 to 1.27 times more efficiently than its relatives XBB.1 and XBB.1.5. This is the reason why it "will spread worldwide in the near future" as it also appears to be "robustly resistant" to antibodies produced by other Covid variants.