The most recent data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveals that the JN.1 variant, a new version of the Omicron COVID variant, now makes up 44.2% of current cases in the US. In India, worries are rising too, with 22 cases of this variant detected so far. The Northeastern US, especially in New Jersey and New York, has the highest presence of the JN.1 variant. Out West (Arizona, California, Nevada), it represents around 41% of cases, and in the mid-Atlantic region (including Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia), it accounts for about 39% of cases.
As per the US CDC, the rising presence of the JN.1 variant suggests it might spread more easily or resist our immune defenses better than other variants. The CDC urges people at higher risk, such as older adults, infants, and those with certain health conditions, to take extra care. It emphasizes that COVID-19 remains a significant health threat for these vulnerable groups.
The symptoms of the JN.1 variant are just like those of other variants. It’s essential to be aware of the usual signs of infection, including:
- Fever or chills
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Muscle aches
- Difficulty breathing
- Net loss of taste or smell
- Brain fog
- Upset stomach
- Mild diarrhea
As everyone’s attention is on the JN.1 variant, the HV.1 variant stands as the second most common variant in the US. It contributes to over 20% of COVID cases, making it the second-largest contributor among COVID variants. HV.1 held the top spot until mid-December when JN.1 took over. Derived from the EG.5 variant, also known as Eris, HV.1 was a major variant seen in the US during October.
In the last 24 hours, India saw 628 new COVID cases and reported one death. This spike brings the active cases to 4,054, showing a notable rise in recent months. Kerala marked the country’s first JN.1 infection on December 8, prompting active government monitoring of the COVID situation since then.
Here are simple ways to stay safe during COVID-19:
- Wear masks indoors or in crowded spots, especially if you’re not vaccinated or in high-transmission areas.
- Wash your hands regularly with soap or use hand sanitizer.
- Keep some distance from others, especially in crowded spaces.
- Stay updated on local guidelines and follow health advice.
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. If you feel sick, stay home and seek medical help.
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