COVID-19 variant JN.1 can evade immune system, suggests study

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COVID-19 variant JN.1 can evade immune system, suggests study

| Updated: December 18, 2023 17:59

India is on alert, following the emergence of a new COVID-19 sub-variant JN.1, identified in a woman in Kerala. The Centre confirmed it’s a first such case in India.

JN.1 is linked to the BA.2.86 variant, also called Pirola, detected in the US and China recently.

This virus, which has an extra mutation on its spike protein, can spread rapidly.

According to reports, the government claimed that a patient from Thiruvananthapuram tested positive for JN.1 on December 8.

India on Sunday logged 335 new COVID-19 infections while the number of active cases went up to 1,701, the Union health ministry confirmed. Health officials have advocated hand hygiene and updated vaccinations.

The Times of India, citing American health agency Centres for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) suggestion, reported that the JN.1 coronavirus variant may or may not induce distinct symptoms. Reported symptoms of JN.1 include running nose, sore throat, headache, mild gastrointestinal symptoms, and fever.

The CDC has admitted that it doesn’t have sufficient evidence on whether the strain shows distinct symptoms from prior coronavirus variants. The agency has however alerted that JN.1 is strong enough to evade the immune system, raising concerns about increased transmissibility.

The CDC says it’s too early to predict its wider spread based on current information.

Identified in the US in September 2023, JN.1 has since surfaced in 11 other nations. China has already identified seven cases of the COVID-19 caused by JN.1.

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