Alarming rise of JN.1 sparks concern as US battles severe COVID-19 wave: Health experts express worry despite moderate severity

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United States: The United States was dealing with a severe and dangerous pandemic wave due to a new sub-variant of COVID-19 – JN.1. During winters, the outbreak due to the virus caused panic, and the health experts were worried as well as concerned as the spike was out of control.

The current situation in the United States is still alarming as JN.1 is responsible for approximately 85.7 percent of all COVID cases in the US, according to the stats shared by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

However, current data from the government of the United States suggested that JN.1 is now moderate and not prompting more severe disease as compared to other variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

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In this regard, the chief of the global influenza branch in CDC’s Influenza Division – Dr. Eduardo Azziz-Baumgartner, stated that the health agency would be surveying more to craft a detailed analysis of the impact of JN.1 on the general public, according to CBS News. The statement was given by the health expert in the midst of a CDC-hosted webinar with testing laboratories.

Does JN.1 have severe symptoms like other variants?

While answering a question related to the symptoms associated with the JN.1 variant of the virus, Azziz-Baumgartner said that as per the current electronic medical records and other data, as of now, the variant has not shown any severe or health-taking symptoms – like other variants.

He furthermore shed light on the fact that the effect of the variant could vary from one individual to another. The expert was quoted saying, “It could be very severe. People could die from a virus that, to the general population, may be milder.”

Azziz-Baumgartner also mentioned that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been working and will release detailed and informative data “during the next couple of weeks.”

JN.1 – a variant of interest!

It is to be noted that despite such a spike and upsurge, the federal health agencies, including the CDC, have not named the new variant as a ‘variant of interest;’ however, the World Health Organisation did. But WHO has also stated that JN.1 is not linked with any severe case, according to CBS News.  

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In addition to this, the weekly data of the CDC also revealed that the rate of hospital admissions is decreasing and is lower than in the previous season.

A warning by Azziz-Baumgartner!

The health expert has also issued a warning about a renewed spike in the spread of the flu and COVID-19 in the United States as it has been anticipated that the decrease could be muddying the picture, the report by CBS News stated.

While emphasizing the same, he cited that some of the states are still dealing with the upsurge of the cases and over-burden on the hospitals, including New England. He added that just last week, a warning was issued by Massachusetts General Hospital to address an “unprecedented overcrowding” – which could be fuelling the ongoing respiratory illnesses crisis.