A new sub-variant of the coronavirus, JN.1, has recently been detected in most parts of India. The health authorities have confirmed the presence of the JN.1 sub-variant and urged utmost precautions.
Covid virus JN.1
JN.1 is a novel variant of the Omicron sub-variant BA.2.86, characterized by an additional mutation on its spike protein. This variant has the potential to spread rapidly and evade immunity, emphasizing the need for continuous monitoring and caution.
Symptoms of the new Covid virus JN.1?
The symptoms of COVID-19 caused by JN.1 are similar to those of other variants and include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, muscle or body aches, fatigue, headache, loss of taste and smell, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, nausea, and diarrhea and mild gastrointestinal symptoms.
Further, two new COVID symptoms were detected last week, which are anxiety and difficulty sleeping.
Is it Worrisome?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged maintaining strong surveillance in response to the surge in cases.
The JN.1 sub variant has become the dominant COVID-19 variant in India currently, accounting for more than 60% of the coronavirus cases in the country. XBB, which was the dominant variant for a long period in the country, has been surpassed by JN.1 and crossed the 500 mark in the first week of January of the current year.
Mock drills are conducted in health facilities across states to assess public health and hospital readiness.
While most cases in Kerala have been mild, health authorities are urging on the need for vigilance and preparedness to effectively manage the evolving situation related to COVID-19 variants.
However, the winters are also being considered a factor contributing to the surge in cases of seasonal viral infections of the upper respiratory tract. Most patients experience mild upper respiratory symptoms, typically improving within four to five days.
Preventive measures may include frequent hand sanitization, use of triple mask and social distancing, regular hand hygiene, avoiding touching the face, especially eyes, nose, and mouth, staying informed about the latest developments, and considering getting booster shots for better prevention from the virus.
Disinfect frequently touched surfaces, and prioritize outdoor activities when possible. One must practice good respiratory hygiene by covering mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Stay home when feeling unwell, and encourage others to do the same. Adopt a proactive and cautious approach, considering the evolving nature of the pandemic.