JN.1 variant COVID cases cross 100 mark; highest from Gujarat: Symptoms to note, preventive measures to know

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A total of 109 COVID cases due to JN.1 subvariant have been detected in the country, news agency ANI has reported citing official sources. Thirty-six cases were detected from Gujarat, 34 from Karnataka, 14 from Goa, nine from Maharashtra, six from Kerala, four each from Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu, and two from Telangana, they said.
Most of the patients are currently in home isolation, the official sources have added.
Cases are rising, but no risk of severity so far
Even though the number of cases is rising and the JN.1 sub-variant has been detected in the country, there is no cause of immediate concern as 92 per cent of those infected are opting for home-based treatment, indicating a mild illness, officials have told the media.
There is also no increase in hospitalization rates and COVID-19 is an incidental finding in those hospitalized due to other medical conditions, they said.
The JN.1 (BA.2.86.1.1), emerged in August 2023 in Luxembourg and is a descendant of the BA.2.86 lineage (Pirola) of coronavirus.
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In comparison with the parent lineage BA.2.86, JN.1 has the additional L455S mutation in the spike protein. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has listed it as a variant of interest “due to its rapidly increasing spread.” “JN.1 in comparison with parent BA.2.86 lineage carries the additional spike mutation L455S that significantly enhances immune evasion capabilities,” it says about this variant which is responsible for more than 50% cases in the US.

Symptoms to pay attention to

So far infections caused by the JN.1 variant do not have exclusive symptoms. The symptoms seen in patients recently are similar to the ones seen earlier. The common signs reported by COVID patients in the UK, where cases are on rise as well, are: runny nose, cough, headache, weakness, muscle ache, sore throat, trouble sleeping and anxiety. Lack of sleep and anxiety comprise more than 10% of the symptoms seen in COVID cases.

COVID variant JN.1 has minimum symptoms

“It spreads very fast. This is a variant of omicron, so it is likely to spread very fast. And gradually it is going to replace the other variants and become the predominant variant. JN.1 is a mild COVID virus and just like in Omicron, you did not see many patients of severe variety and only a few patients had severe disease, in the same way JN.1 is of mild variety. The symptoms in this include runny nose, cough, fatigue, pain in the throat and voice becoming hoarse while some people may suffer from diarrhoea,” Senior Consultant of Respiratory Medicine at Apollo Hospital, Dr Rajesh Chawla, told the ANI.

How to stay safe?

With the festive season around, it is important to stay safe when cases of COVID increase. To stay safe from COVID-19, practice good hygiene by washing hands frequently, wearing masks in crowded places, and maintaining social distancing. Get vaccinated to reduce the severity of illness. Stay informed about local guidelines and follow them diligently. Avoid large gatherings and indoor spaces with poor ventilation. Disinfect commonly touched surfaces regularly. If feeling unwell, isolate and seek medical advice promptly. Stay physically active, maintain a healthy diet, and prioritize mental well-being. Together, these measures help protect yourself and others from the spread of the virus.



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