The new Arcturus covid variant has been confirmed in Scotland as five cases reported across the country.

This comes after five people died from the new strain which has reached all four UK nations.

According to the most recent briefing from the UK Health and Security Agency (UKHSA), there have already been 135 cases of new strains reported across England.

This new variant is present in 28 countries with the majority of these being in India.

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: (PA) Five people have died in the UK from the new variant(PA) Five people have died in the UK from the new variant (Image: Radar AI)

However, health chiefs say they have no reason to believe this new variant is more severe than past iterations of the virus.

What are the symptoms of Arcturus covid variant as it comes to Scotland?

The new covid variant is said to cause the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Body chills
  • Chronic cough
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Nasal congestion or runny nose
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea and vomiting

What is the Arcturus covid variant as it comes to Scotland?

Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald: (Canva) Arcturus is being monitored by the WHO(Canva) Arcturus is being monitored by the WHO (Image: Canva)

Arcturus is a new strain of Covid-19 that is estimated to be 1.2 times more infectious than the last variant.

More accurately known as Omicron subvariant XBB.1.16, it was first identified in January and is extremely prevalent in India where the Word Health Organisation has monitored its spread.

How is Arcturus different from previous strains of Covid?

According to infections experts, the new strain is different because a mutation in the spike protein could make it more infectious.

Dr William Shaffner, professor of preventative medicine says: “Arcturus is an omicron site sub-variant, so it’s related to omicron."

Dr Shaffner added that the new strain does not seem to be as severe but that there are characteristics that make it different.

He said: “First, it has a tendency to produce a high fever. Omicron can produce a fever, but many people get infected who don’t have a fever at all.”

The inflammatory response can make it distinctive with Shaffner adding: “The other thing that is even more distinctive is that, particularly in children, it has the tendency to produce conjunctivitis, which is the inflammation of the outside of the eye."