WHO yet to confirm ‘sticky eyes’ as symptom of Arcturus: DOH

2023 April 26

MANILA – The World Health Organization (WHO) is yet to confirm “sticky eyes” or conjunctivitis as a symptom of the XBB.1.1.6 Omicron or Arcturus subvariant, the Department of Health (DOH) said Wednesday.

“In general, Covid-19 exhibits flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, fatigue, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, headache, body pain, and diarrhea, among others,” the DOH said in a Viber message to reporters.

Other symptoms may vary from case to case aside from the known flu-like symptoms, the DOH said.

“Studies are continuously ongoing of what effects the virus may entail. What is important is that cases remain manageable,” it said.

On Tuesday, the DOH logged the country’s first case of XBB.1.1.6 Omicron subvariant in its latest surveillance report.

The case is from Iloilo province and was asymptomatic and was already recovered.

Along with it, the DOH detected 85 additional variants of Covid-19.

Of the tally, about 39 were identified as XBB subvariant (14 were XBB.1.9.1, 13 were XBB.1.5, one was the XBB.1.16, the rest were other XBB sublineages).

Twenty-eight cases were identified as BA.2.3.20; 12 cases were BA.5, and three cases belonged to XBC.

The remaining cases belonged to “other Omicron sublineages.”

The XBB subvariant remains the most dominant strain nationwide with 1,861 cases recorded to date. It is followed by the XBC with a total of 764 cases.

The DOH advised the public to consult a physician or to head to the nearest health facility for proper diagnosis of symptoms.

“To help prevent further transmission of Covid-19, continue observing proper sanitation, masking, distancing, and good ventilation. Further, vaccination remains to be the best defense against severe Covid-19,” it said. 

Ma. Teresa Montemayor (PNA)