The COVID variant known as JN.1 coronavirus has been classified as a “variant of interest” by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday.
JN.1 was previously classified as a variant of interest as a part of its parent strain, BA.2.86. “Based on the available evidence, the additional global public health risk posed by JN.1 is currently evaluated as low,” WHO said.
The WHO said current vaccines continue to protect against severe disease and death from JN.1 and other circulating variants of the COVID-19 virus.
“JN.1 makes up about an estimated 15% to 29% of cases in the United States as of Dec. 8,” said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adding that currently there is no evidence that JN.1 presents an increased risk to public health relative to other currently circulating variants, and an updated shot could keep Americans protected against the variant.
The CDC further stated that tgst JN.1 was first detected in the US in September. Seven infections of the COVID subvariant were detected in China last week.
In India, the JN.1 variant of Covid-19 has alerted the health authorities after Kerala witnessed a rise in number of Covid-19 cases. As per the reports, the symptoms of the virus do not seem to be severe for now, but the Centre has issued an advisory in the wake of the upcoming festive season.
“Considering the upcoming festive season, there is a need to put in place requisite public health measures and other arrangements to minimize the risk of increase in transmission of the disease by adherence to the maintenance of respiratory hygiene”, the advisory read.