New Coronavirus subvariant JN.1 spreading fast in US

LOS ANGELES: A new coronavirus subvariant JN.1 is spreading fast in the United States, becoming a significant contributor to new Covid-19 cases in the country.

JN.1 is responsible for 21.4 per cent of new infections across the country and has become the fastest-growing strain of the virus, according to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), reported Xinhua.

In the Northeastern region, it is believed to account for about one-third of new cases.

The CDC projects that JN.1 will continue to increase as a proportion of SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences.

JN.1, which is closely related to the variant BA.2.86 that the CDC has been tracking since August, was first detected in the United States in September 2023. By the end of October, it made up less than 0.1 per cent of SARS-CoV-2 viruses, according to the CDC.

The continued growth of JN.1 suggests that it is either more transmissible or better at evading our immune systems, according to the CDC.

Countries in Europe, including Denmark, Spain, Belgium, France, and the Netherlands, have witnessed exponential growth in JN.1 cases, accompanied by increasing hospitalisations. The subvariant is also spreading rapidly in Australia, Asia, and Canada.

At this time, there is no evidence that JN.1 presents an increased risk to public health relative to other currently circulating variants, said the CDC. However, health officials and experts are urging the public to get updated Covid-19 vaccines to avoid severe outcomes of the viruses.

Updated Covid-19 vaccines are expected to increase protection against JN.1, as they do for other variants, said the CDC.

Recently respiratory illnesses are ticking up in the United States ahead of holidays with hospital admissions for Covid-19, flu and respiratory syncytial virus reaching their highest levels since the start of this year.

More than 22,700 new Covid hospital admissions were reported across the country in the week ending Dec 9, the highest since February, according to the latest CDC data.

Only about 18 per cent of adults have received the updated Covid-19 vaccine as of Dec 9, according to the CDC. – BERNAMA

Most Popular
Related Article
Says Stories