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Holiday Health

Be aware during the holidays: A new COVID variant, JN.1, is spreading rapidly in US and elsewhere


The World Health Organization (WHO) and the federal CDC are monitoring a new COVID variant called JN.1, and it’s spreading in the United States and countries in the world, according to the organizations.

This week, A WHO media advisory stated, “Due to its rapidly increasing spread, WHO is classifying the variant JN.1 as a separate variant of interest.” That’s a way to keep an eye on a specific variant.

In the case of JN.1, that’s considered a lower level of monitoring. (At the CDC, the variant levels are: Variant of high consequence, Variant of concern, variant of interest — which is labeled JN.1 — and Variants being monitored.)

“Based on the available evidence, the additional global public health risk posed by JN.1 is currently evaluated as low,” the WHO advisory stated. “Despite this, with the onset of winter in the Northern Hemisphere, JN.1 could increase the burden of respiratory infections in many countries.”

Florida temperatures will be lower than the chilling winter up north, but families and friends in Florida may go up to see their relatives there.

WHO is now advising people to take these measures to prevent infections:

-Wear a mask when in crowded, enclosed, or poorly ventilated areas, and keep a safe distance from others as feasible

-Practice respiratory etiquette – covering coughs and sneezes

-Clean your hands regularly

-Stay up to date with vaccinations against COVID-19 and influenza, especially if you are at high risk for severe disease

-Stay home if you are sick

-Get tested if you have symptoms or if you might have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or influenza

According to estimates, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) shows JN. 1 as 21.4 percent of COVID cases in the United States.

But the trajectory had moved quickly: In mid-October, JN.1 showed only .2 percent of cases. In mid-November, JN.1 pushed up to 3.5 percent. Around Thanksgiving, the figure moved up to 8.1 percent. And by Dec. 9, the figure shot up to the current 21.4 percent.

Florida Phoenix is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Florida Phoenix maintains editorial independence.

COVID-19, Health, JN1, Florida Phoenix. Holidays 2023


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