1. JN.1: The Latest COVID-19 Subvariant Detected in Kerala, India
2. What You Need to Know About JN.1, the New COVID-19 Subvariant
3. JN.1: A New COVID-19 Subvariant Detected in Kerala, India
4. JN.1: The Fastest-Growing COVID-19 Subvariant in the United States
5. JN.1: A Descendant of BA.2.86 and the Latest COVID-19 Subvariant

The JN.1 sub-variant of SARS-CoV-2, initially identified in the United States in September 2023, closely aligns with the BA.2.86 variant tracked by the CDC since August 1. Recent data from the CDC indicates that JN.1 is currently the fastest-growing variant in the United States, constituting an estimated 15–29% of SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences as of December 8, 2023.

Concerns arose when JN.1 was detected in Kerala, India, prompting public worry. However, experts reassure that there’s no need to panic, emphasizing the importance of ongoing virus surveillance.

Symptoms associated with JN.1 remain similar to those of other variants, including fever, coughing, tiredness, nasal congestion, runny nose, diarrhea, and headaches. The first case of JN.1 in Kerala was identified in a 79-year-old woman with mild symptoms on December 8, 2023.

JN.1, a descendant of the BA.2.86 lineage, carries the S:L455S mutation and three non-S protein mutations. The WHO currently designates JN.1 as a variant of interest (VOI), emphasizing the importance of preventive measures.

To mitigate JN.1 transmission and other SARS-CoV-2 variants, adhere to standard preventive measures:

  1. Vaccination: Receive the COVID-19 vaccine promptly, as updated vaccines are expected to enhance protection against JN.1.
  2. Mask Usage: Wear masks in public, especially in crowded settings.
  3. Social Distancing: Maintain a 6-foot distance from individuals outside your household.
  4. Hand Hygiene: Wash hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in public.
  5. Crowd Avoidance: Steer clear of large gatherings and poorly ventilated spaces.
  6. Illness Response: Stay home if unwell and avoid contact with others.
  7. Testing: Seek testing promptly if COVID-19 symptoms emerge.

What does Karnataka Health minister have to sayon the latest situation.

According to The Economic Times, Karnataka Health Minister Dinesh Gundu Rao has stated that there is no need to be concerned about the new COVID-19 strain detected in Kerala. He mentioned that Karnataka has 58 active cases, 11 of which are hospitalized and

the rest are at their homes. The state administration is taking precautionary measures and has alerted all hospitals and health institutes to increase testing.

Dinesh Gundu Rao also mentioned that there is nothing to worry about. As per their records, they have had one death due to COVID-19 in the last three months, but the person who died had other co-morbidities as well. They are already taking precautionary measures and have informed all the hospitals and health centers to increase testing for those who come with symptoms of cough and flu and other COVID-like symptoms .

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Health Advisor from the Centre Government

The Central government has issued an advisory to the states after the detection of the first JN.1 variant in India, asking them to “maintain constant vigil”.

The advisory, by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said: “As you must be aware, the World Health Organization in May this year, owing to sustained decline in trajectory of COVID-19 and significant achievements gained over couple of years in achieving widespread Immunization coverage, withdrew the PHEIC status of Covid-19 pandemic. In India as well, due to consistent and collaborative actions between Centre and State Governments, we have been able to sustain the trajectory at sustainable low rates. However, as the Covid-19 virus continues to circulate and its epidemiology behaviour gets settled with Indian weather conditions and circulation of other usual pathogens, it is of utmost importance that we maintain a state of constant vigil over the COVID situation, right up to the District levels.”

 It added that in the upcoming festive season, there is a need to put in place essential public health measures as well as other arrangements in order to minimise the risk of an increase in transmission of Covid by adherence to the maintenance of respiratory hygiene.

The advisory asked the states to ensure effective compliance of the detailed and revised operational guidelines for the Covid-19 surveillance strategy.

It said: “Ensure monitoring and reporting of District-wise Influenza-like Illness (ILI) & Severe Acute Respiratory Illness (SARI) cases in all health facilities on a regular basis including in the Integrated Health Information Platform (IHIP) portal, for detecting the early rising trend of cases.”

The states were also asked to ensure that adequate testing takes place in all the districts as per the official testing guidelines and maintain the suggested share of RT-PCR and Antigen tests.

The Central government issues an advisory to maintain vigilance, emphasizing the need for public health measures and testing in the upcoming festive season. The states are urged to follow operational guidelines for COVID-19 surveillance.

While no specific travel advisory for JN.1 is issued, the Ministry of Tourism provides general COVID-19 travel guidelines. Adhering to preventive measures remains crucial to curb the spread of JN.1 and other variants. Stay informed, stay safe!

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