Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, may be a symptom of the new strain of COVID-19, The Charlotte Observer reported May 2.
The COVID-19 variant XBB.1.16, also known unofficially as "Arcturus," can cause a form of viral conjunctivitis. Conjunctivitis can come from viruses, bacteria and allergies.
"There are reports in which conjunctivitis was the only sign of COVID-19," the American Academy of Ophthalmology says on its EyeWiki website. "Other reports showed that the patients of COVID-19 developed conjunctivitis later in their course of disease after hospitalization."
The University of Nebraska Medical Center's Truhlsen Eye Institute in Omaha found that COVID-19 can be found in the eye's tear film, leading to pink eye symptoms.
The Center for Disease Control has advised that individuals who experience several symptoms of pink eye that are not improving should seek medical attention.