Covid Strain JN.1 Termed 'Variant Of Interest': Symptoms To Look Out For

The JN.1 Covid subvariant, initially identified in Luxembourg, is a descendant of the Pirola variant (BA.2.86), which has its origins in the Omicron sub-variant.

Covid Strain JN.1 Termed 'Variant Of Interest': Symptoms To Look Out For

Symptoms may include fever, runny nose, sore throat, and headaches. (Representational)

A new COVID-19 variant has been classified as a "variant of interest" by the World Health Organisation, but it said the strain did not pose much threat to public health. The JN.1 variant has sparked concerns among healthcare professionals, experts, authorities, and the general public in India.

The JN.1 Covid subvariant, initially identified in Luxembourg, is a descendant of the Pirola variant (BA.2.86), which has its origins in the Omicron sub-variant.

This variant has led to an increase in India's active COVID-19 cases, reaching 1,828 on Monday, December 18, with one reported death in Kerala where JN.1 was recently detected. The central government has issued advisories to state governments, urging them to ensure adequate health arrangements in response to this development.

Symptoms of Covid-19 variant JN.1:

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the symptoms associated with the new COVID variant are generally mild to moderate.

Symptoms may include fever, runny nose, sore throat, and headaches.

Most patients experience mild upper respiratory symptoms that typically improve within four to five days.

The new variant may present with a loss of appetite and persistent nausea. Sudden difficulty feeling hungry, particularly when accompanied by other symptoms, is highlighted as a potential indication of the JN.1 variant, and medical consultation is advised.

Another significant sign of the JN.1 variant is extreme fatigue. Characterized by overwhelming exhaustion and muscle weakness, these symptoms go beyond typical COVID-19 fatigue. Basic tasks may feel monumental, and individuals experiencing such fatigue should seek medical evaluation.

In rare cases, individuals infected with the JN.1 variant may also experience gastrointestinal problems, leading to alterations in digestive health. Symptoms such as vomiting and nausea may occur.

According to the CDC, the surge in cases suggests that JN.1 may be more transmissible compared to other strains. Experts express concerns due to a combination of holiday gatherings, low COVID-19 vaccine rates, and the presence of a new, transmissible variant.

Jill Foster, MD, division director of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Minnesota Medical School, advised, "The biggest thing people can do is, when they're in crowded places around a lot of strangers, they wear a mask," according to Health.

Currently, over 90% of Covid cases in India are mild and managed through home isolation.

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