New Covid-19 Variant JN.1



According to the CDC (the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), a new JN.1 variant of Covid-19 is spreading rapidly in the US. “JN.1 is the fastest growing variant in the U.S., making up more than 1 in 5 new coronavirus infections,” US News reports quoting from the CDC.

The virus that causes COVID-19 is constantly changing over time. Sometimes these changes allow new variants to spread more quickly or effectively. If that occurs, the new variant may become more common relative to other variants that are circulating.

– The CDC (Dec 8, 2023 update)

In a recent event, Mandy Cohen, CDC Director, said “We continue to see this COVID virus change. In August of this year, we probably saw one of the larger changes to the COVID virus at that time, and what we’ve seen lately in the last couple of weeks is an offshoot of that August variant.”

The CDC documentation describes the JN.1 variant as follows:

  • JN.1 is closely related to the variant BA.2.86.
  • Even though BA.2.86 and JN.1 sound very different because of the way variants are named, there is only a single change between JN.1 and BA.2.86 in the spike protein.
  • JN.1 was first detected in the United States in September 2023. By the end of October, it made up less than 0.1% of SARS-CoV-2 viruses.
  • Previously, JN.1 was grouped with BA.2.86 on COVID Data Tracker.

The JN.1 symptoms are said to be similar to the classic Covid-19 symptoms. The agency estimates that “COVID-19 activity is likely to increase over the next month. An updated COVID-19 vaccine can help keep you protected against JN.1 and other variants. It’s a great time to get that vaccine if you haven’t received one this fall”.

“The good news is, even with the changes that have come in the last several weeks, the updated vaccine is still good coverage for that based on lab studies,” Cohen said about the latest strains.

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