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BRAIN ATTACK:

JN 1 Covid Variant: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Risk, Precaution, Prevention & Treatment

By Dr. Rajiv Dang in Internal Medicine

Dec 29 , 2023 | 2 min read

1

What is JN.1 COVID Variant?

The JN.1 variant is the latest mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the causative agent of COVID-19. It is a subvariant of Omicron COVID variant. Like other variants, JN.1 has undergone changes in its genetic code, specifically in the spike protein region. This variant was first identified in the United States in September. It has since gained attention for its potential impact on the course of the pandemic in India and many other countries, and therefore, the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified this variant as a Variant of Interest (VOI). A VOI usually points to certain genetic markers that are connected to changes in how the virus binds to receptors.

JN.1 Symptoms

Individuals infected with the JN.1 variant may experience a range of symptoms, which can vary in severity. Common symptoms include fever, cough, fatigue, throat pain, headache, loose motion and difficulty breathing. However, it's important to note that the symptoms of JN.1 may overlap with those of other COVID-19 variants.

Who is at Risk?

Similar to other COVID-19 variants, JN.1 poses a risk to individuals of all ages. However, certain groups may be more susceptible to severe outcomes, including older adults, individuals with underlying health conditions, and those with weakened immune systems.

How dangerous is the JN.1 variant?

As per WHO, the overall risk is low. JN.1 has the ability to evade immune response and spread fast thus, It has the capacity to infect vaccinated individuals and individuals earlier recovered from COVID. However, as it is a subvariant of omicron, it is similar to it in terms of mild symptoms and high transmissibility. However, you should consult a doctor if symptoms worsen.

How Different is it from Omicron and Delta Variant?

JN.1 differs from both the Omicron and Delta variants in terms of its genetic makeup. The changes in the spike protein might affect transmissibility, severity, and immune escape. Comparative studies are ongoing to understand the unique characteristics of JN.1.

When to Consult a Doctor?

Anyone experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, especially if residing in an area with reported JN.1 cases, should seek medical advice promptly. In case of symptoms like cough and sore throat lasting for more than 48 hours, you should consult your doctor as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and intervention are crucial in managing the spread of the variant and providing appropriate care.

Diagnosis of JN.1 COVID

Diagnostic tests, including PCR and rapid antigen tests, can identify any COVID variant. However, to know if it is a JN.1 variant, genome sequencing is required. 

Self-Care at Home for People Suffering from JN.1 COVID and Their Caregivers

Patients with mild symptoms can manage their condition at home, following healthcare provider recommendations. Adequate rest, hydration, and over-the-counter medications to alleviate symptoms can contribute to recovery. Caregivers should take precautions to avoid transmission.

Precautions of JN.1 COVID

Preventive measures, such as wearing masks, practicing good hand hygiene, and maintaining social distancing, remain crucial in reducing the spread of JN.1.

Prevention of JN.1 COVID

It is advised to wear an N95 mask, avoid gatherings and wash hands regularly to prevent the spread of infection.

Is there a need for a booster dose?

As of now, there is no plan for a fourth dose (booster dose) against COVID-19 infection.

Treatment protocols for JN.1

Treatment protocols for JN.1 will align with existing COVID-19 management strategies, including antiviral medications, supportive care, and oxygen therapy for severe cases. Ongoing research will inform specific treatment guidelines tailored to this variant.

In conclusion, staying informed, practising preventive measures, and seeking prompt medical attention are crucial in mitigating its impact. If you or your loved ones are suffering from symptoms of COVID-19, consult with Internal Medicine Specialist for early recovery.


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