oppn parties Covid: JN.1 Is Here And Spreading Fast, But No Need To Panic

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oppn parties
Covid: JN.1 Is Here And Spreading Fast, But No Need To Panic

By Linus Garg
First publised on 2023-12-22 08:57:37

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Linus tackles things head-on. He takes sides in his analysis and it fits excellently with our editorial policy. No 'maybe's' and 'allegedly' for him, only things in black and white.

Although the World Health Organization (WHO) withdrew the public health emergency notification for Covid nearly 7 months ago, the virus refuses to go away. In a new outbreak in India, the JN.1 sub-variant of Omicron is rearing its head. It began in Kerala (which is still the worst affected) and has now spread to distant states like West Bengal. India reported 640 new cases on Thursday, with Kerala alone reporting 500+ new cases on the day. It had reported 500+ cases on Wednesday too. The JN.1 variant is said to be a mild infection but a few deaths have also been reported, with three deaths on Wednesday and one on Thursday. The Union health ministry and medical experts have said that there is no need to panic but have advised people to start following Covid protocols like wearing masks in public places and washing hands frequently to avoid getting infected.

JN.1 sub-variant has mild to moderate symptoms such as fever, runny nose, sore throat, headaches, loss of appetite, and extreme fatigue. It may also lead to gastrointestinal problems. By all accounts, it is spreading fast. WHO is tracking its global spread and is expected to issue appropriate notification if things get out of hand. Right now, it has termed it only as a 'variant of interest' due to its high transmission rate. Within a period of one month, from November 5 to December 4, the sub-variant grew from just 3.3% of all Covid cases to nearly 27%. The CDC in the US termed it as the fastest growing variant in the country.

Despite the fact that JN.1 is known to evade immunity to infect people, medical experts are not unduly worried because the strain does not cause (or has not caused till now) serious illness. Experts say that widespread vaccination has helped people combat the new variant. They also advise vaccinating the vulnerable group of seniors, people with malignant diseases, people on immunosuppressive medications, uncontrolled diabetes and patients with chronic liver and kidney disease. Some experts have also advised boosters for those already vaccinated with two doses. Hence, people need not panic but exercise caution, take booster doses, wear masks, wash their hands frequently and if possible, avoid going to crowded public places.