Thursday, June 20, 2024

Kerala detects Covid sub-variant JN.1

India has identified its first case of the Covid-19 sub-variant JN.1 in Kerala’s Karakulam on December 8. The infected individual, a 79-year-old woman, showed mild symptoms of influenza-like illnesses and had previously recovered from Covid-19. Earlier, a traveler from Tamil Nadu’s Tiruchirapalli district was found with the JN.1 sub-variant in Singapore on October 25, but no subsequent increase in cases was reported in the region.

While over 90% of Covid-19 cases in India are currently mild and under home isolation, the Karnataka government has expressed concern over the rising Covid cases in neighboring Kerala. Karnataka plans to conduct mock drills in hospitals to assess preparedness for a potential resurgence of the pandemic. The state aims to purchase testing kits, including RT-PCR tests and Rapid Antigen Tests, and will focus on testing only those showing symptoms of COVID-19.

The JN.1 sub-variant, initially identified in Luxembourg, has unique mutations, particularly in the spike protein. Despite concerns about increased infectivity and immune evasion, initial data suggests that updated vaccines and treatments remain effective against the JN.1 sub-strain. While India is vigilant, no hospitalization or severe disease related to the sub-variant has been reported. Experts emphasize the need for continued monitoring and preparedness in light of the sub-variant’s global spread and potential impact on infectivity and immunity.

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