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JN.1 Strain Of COVID-19: How To Stay Protected, Precautions To Follow | Health News


Dec 28, 2023


As of December 26, 2023, India has reported a total of 109 cases of JN.1 variant of COVID-19, according to Health Ministry sources. While cases of the new variant and overall COVID-19 have been steadily growing, experts have said that the new variants are so far mild and while precautions are needed, there’s no need to panic. As new variants emerge, an important requirement is public awareness. ” The emergence of new COVID-19 variants, including the JN.1 variant, underscores the need for updated information on tips, prevention strategies, and important tests to navigate this evolving landscape. It’s crucial to note that information on new variants may change rapidly, so staying informed through reliable sources is essential,” shares Dr Vigyan Mishra, chief of lab at Neuberg Diagnostics, Noida.

JN.1 Variant Of COVID-19: Tips and Prevention

Dr Vigyan Mishra shares the following tips to deal with COVID-19 and its new variant, JN.1:

Vaccination: Ensure you are fully vaccinated as per the latest guidelines. Vaccination remains a cornerstone in preventing severe illness and hospitalisation, including against emerging variants.

Booster Shots: Stay updated on booster shot recommendations. Boosters enhance immunity, especially as new variants arise. Consult healthcare professionals for personalised advice.

Hygiene Practices: Continue practising good hygiene, including regular handwashing, using hand sanitisers, and avoiding touching your face. These habits reduce the risk of virus transmission.

Mask Usage: Wear masks in crowded or high-risk settings. Choose masks that provide optimal protection, such as N95 or KN95 masks, especially in areas with higher variant prevalence.

Social Distancing: Maintain physical distance from others, especially if you or those around you are unvaccinated or at higher risk of severe illness.

Also Read: JN.1 Strain Of COVID-19: A New Vaccine From Serum Institute? All You Need To Know

Important Tests For COVID-19

Dr Vigyan Mishra suggests the following tests:

PCR Testing: Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests remain a gold standard for COVID-19 detection. Regular testing, especially if symptomatic or exposed to the virus, helps in early identification.

Antigen Testing: Rapid antigen tests provide quick results and are useful for screening, especially in high-risk situations. Confirm positive results with a PCR test.

Genomic Sequencing: For variant identification, genomic sequencing is crucial. Laboratories analyse the virus’s genetic code to determine the specific variant, helping in tracking and understanding its spread.

How JN.1 Is Different From Other COVID-19 Strains

JN.1 is yet another descendant of Omicron. The World Health Organization (WHO) recently classified JN.1 as a variant of interest, distinct from its parent lineage BA.2.86. While the two variants of JN.1 and BA.2.86 are nearly identical, according to reports, a single difference in their spike proteins – the part of the virus that allows it to invade human cells – is what makes JN.1 stand apart from BA.2.86.

While several variants may share traits, some characteristics such as increased transmissibility, severity, and vaccine evasion, can vary. Continuous research is essential to understand these differences fully. “It’s imperative to adapt prevention strategies and testing protocols based on the evolving nature of the virus. Public health measures, vaccination campaigns, and research efforts are essential in mitigating the impact of emerging variants like JN.1 and staying ahead in the fight against COVID-19,” says Dr Mishra.


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