5 Indicators of Covid JN.1 Variant Infection


5 Indicators of Covid JN.1 Variant Infection

The Covid JN.1 variant has been associated with several symptoms, providing crucial signals for early identification. As the world witnesses a surge in Covid-19 cases linked to the JN.1 variant in recent weeks, it becomes vital to recognize potential signs of infection. Designated a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization (WHO), JN.1 originates from BA.2.86, a sub-strain of Omicron, featuring distinct mutations, particularly in the spike protein, responsible for cell entry and infection.

Key symptoms associated with the JN.1 variant, as highlighted by the health monitoring application ZOE Health Study, include a runny nose, sore throat, headache, sleep disturbance, and restlessness. Additionally, individuals infected with JN.1 may experience fever with muscle pain, loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, and persistent cough.

Given the highly infectious nature of JN.1, experts stress the importance of consulting a doctor when symptoms arise. Adhering to public health measures, such as wearing masks and maintaining distance in crowded places, becomes crucial. Early detection and a flexible response are essential for managing and minimizing the impact of mutations.

While WHO has not provided specific details on the severity of JN.1 infections, research published in the journal Cell in early January indicates that the variant can infect cells in the lower lung area, potentially leading to more severe symptoms. The virus exhibits enhanced adherence to cells and participates in host cell membrane fusion.

Simulate nCoV with the outer protein spike. Photo: Public Health

To prevent JN.1 infection, experts recommend:

  1. Maintain Personal Hygiene: Regularly wash hands with soap and water for approximately 20 seconds and use alcohol-based sanitizers.
  2. Wear Masks: Utilize medical masks or N95 masks, ensuring coverage of the nose and mouth, especially in public spaces where physical distancing is challenging.
  3. Vaccination: Vaccination remains a primary tool for avoiding health complications associated with JN.1. Experts recommend completing the standard two doses and receiving a booster shot.

Several Southeast Asian countries have implemented specific measures to curb the spread of mutations. For instance, Indonesia has deployed thermal scanners at major international airports and the Batam ferry terminal to screen travelers. Those displaying symptoms undergo further rapid testing, emphasizing the importance of vigilance and preventive measures.

In Ho Chi Minh City, the infectious disease surveillance system recently recorded that, among 16 Covid patients hospitalized in December, 12 were infected with JN.1, and one case was infected with JN.1.1. This underscores the urgency of staying informed and proactive in the face of evolving Covid variants.

Thuc Linh (According to Health Site, Straits Times)

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