Covid-19: Fast-Spreading JN.1 Variant

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JN. 1, a highly contagious off-shoot of the Omicron strain, now makes up around 86 percent of COVID cases in the United States after accounting for less than 5 percent of infections nationally in early November, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports.

It’s also the most dominant across the globe.

JN.1 cases in the US have doubled over the last month. 

In late December, it caused 44 percent of cases in the US, after making up around 22 percent of infections in the middle of December.

That’s around the time the World Health Organization (WHO) declared JN.1 to be “a variant of interest.”

“Based on its genetic features, JN.1 may possess some antigenic advantage evading previous immunity,” the WHO said. “While there is a rapid increase in JN.1 infections, and likely increase in cases, available limited evidence does not suggest that the associated disease severity is higher as compared to other circulating variants.”

JN.1 was first identified in late August.

According to the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, “The increase in the number of cases caused by JN.1 corresponds to an overall increase in COVID-19 cases.

“Symptoms of JN.1 infection are very similar to those of previous omicron variants, and it doesn’t seem to cause more severe disease, either.”

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