According to the CDC, the Omicron subvariant JN.1 now makes up more than 44 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S.
It’s currently estimated that the JN.1 subvariant is responsible for nearly half of all infections across the country whereas just a few days ago, it only caused about 20 percent of all cases.
According to the data, JN.1 makes up nearly 60 percent of new cases in the Northeast. However, the subvariants had already been dominant in the area earlier this week, causing approximately one-third of new COVID-19 cases.
Outside of the United States, JN.1 continues to be reported in numerous countries. On Tuesday, The World Health Organization named it ‘a variant of interest’ due to how rapidly it was spreading. However, they emphasized that the risk to the public was low.
From late November to mid-December, the cases of JN.1 have more than doubled, according to the CDC. Holiday travel may have also assisted with this phenomenon and the fact that it’s waning immunity.
Experts estimate that the JN.1 subvariant will become the leading variant worldwide within a few weeks.
Those who have received the latest vaccine booster, however, will have “cross-reactive” immunity to the JN.1 subvariant, which is a descendant of the Omicron subvariant BA.2.86.
In the week ending Dec. 9, COVID-19 caused seven hospitalizations per 100,000 individuals, translating to an increase of 3 percent.
In the United States, over three-quarters of hospitals are currently being used, which is similar to the previous trends since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The CDC is also warning individuals that hospitalizations may strain healthcare resources due to a rise in respiratory virus cases in the upcoming weeks.
While COVID-19 hospitalizations have been trending down over the past weeks, flu hospitalizations have been going up at a steady pace, according to data from the CDC.
JN.1 Variant Symptoms
The JN.1. variant causes typical COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, body ache, headache, cough, sore throat, and fatigue, It may also cause mild gastrointestinal symptoms such as loose stools or mild stomach cramps.
Not only that but recent data has also shown that it can cause trouble sleeping and anxiety.
Interestingly, the once prominent loss of smell and taste symptom is only being reported by 2 to 3 percent of infected individuals.
Preventing JN.1 Infection
Frequent handwashing is key to preventing infection from the JN.1 variant. Parents and guardians should also educate children on the importance of not touching their face – especially the nose, eyes, and mouth, to minimize the risk of virus transmission.
Wearing face masks, especially in enclosed spaces or crowds, is also vital to preventing infection.