Lo Que Debes Saber de la Nueva Variante Covid-19 JN.1 Pirola

Understanding JN.1 Pirola: The new Covid variant is considered a variant of interest by the WHO.

JN.1 is responsible for 20% of COVID-19 cases in the USA.

Amid the ongoing fight against the coronavirus pandemic, a new COVID variant has captured the attention of the scientific and global health community: Variant JN.1 or Pirola. This variant, identified in 2023, has generated concern due to its unique characteristics and possible implications for the spread of the virus. In the United States, JN.1 is spreading rapidly, accounting for 20% of COVID-19 cases.

In this article, we will explore in depth what we know so far about this new variant: the symptoms, how it emerged, and its implications. In addition, we will provide expert advice backed by our team of COVID specialists. Read on and learn more about JN.1, the new COVID variant.

Background and Origin: How did this variant emerge and why is it a variant of interest?

Virus variants, such as SARS-CoV-2 which causes COVID-19, can emerge as the virus replicates and spreads. The JN.1 variant was first identified in the United States at the end of August 2023. However, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), JN.1 was previously part of the BA.2.86, a subvariant of Omicron. Nevertheless, due to its rapid spread, the WHO has classified the new COVID variant JN.1 as a variant of concern, considering it separately from the previous BA.2.86.

Subsequently, once a potential variant is identified that could have significant implications, public health experts and epidemiologists classify it as a “variant of interest.” In this sense, according to the classification by the CDC, variants of interest have the following characteristics:

  • They account for a higher percentage of the disease’s transmission rate.
  • These variants have a reduced response to treatments.
  • Higher ability to avoid the existing immune response generated by a previous infection or vaccines.

Symptoms Identification: Recognizing Common Symptoms of the New COVID Variant JN1.

At the moment, there are no specific symptoms to distinguish this new variant of covid-19. However, most commonly reported symptoms are as follows:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Sore throat

Similarly, other less common symptoms are:

  • Muscle pain
  • New and persistent cough
  • Severe nasal discharge or stuffy nose
  • Hoarseness
  • Chest tightness or pain
  • Loss of appetite, nausea and/or vomiting
  • Eye pain

Reinfection: How does the new JN.1 variant affect people who have already had COVID-19 and recovered?

Unfortunately, variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, including the JN.1 Pirola variant, can infect people who have already had COVID-19 and are fully recovered. The new COVID variant contains mutations that affect the immune system’s ability to recognize and defend against the virus. This increases the risk of reinfection compared to other variants.

Although JN.1 is classified as a variant of interest, the WHO also classifies it as a low risk to global public health. This means that it has not been associated with an increase in severe cases of Covid-19, so far.

Public Health Implications: Mexico’s Secretariat of Health rules out Public Health Risk from New Covid-19 Variant

In a press release, the Mexican Secretariat of Health informed that the new JN.1 variant was detected in the Mexico City area last December 2023. However, the government department assures that according to scientific evidence, the Sars-CoV-2 subvariant does not represent a major risk to public health. Moreover, the Instituto de Diagnóstico y Referencia Epidemiológicos (InDRE) emphasizes that Mexico maintains constant vigilance on the activity of COVID-19 and the spread of its variants in the country.

It is worth mentioning that the mentioned institute encourages the population to maintain the prevention measures for respiratory diseases; such as staying at home if there are any symptoms related to the disease, ventilating closed places, covering your mouth when coughing and sneezing, and the use of masks.

Does the Current COVID-19 Vaccines Protect Against the New Variant JN.1?

According to the latest CDC report, current COVID-19 vaccines produce effective antibodies against the JN.1 variant. As such, although the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are made for Omicron, they continue to protect against other COVID-19’s circulating variants.

Staying Safe: Tips and Best Practices According To Our Experts

Our group of COVID-19 medical experts advises the following to prevent serious infections and illness: 

  • Be up to date with your COVID-19 vaccine schedule.
  • Use a face mask when in closed or poorly ventilated areas.
  • Keep a safe distance from others, especially those with symptoms.
  • Wash your hands often with soap or use hand sanitizer.

If you present any of the symptoms mentioned above, our doctors recommend that you come to our facilities to get a COVID test. In case of a positive result, you will have to stay at home for 5 to 7 days or until the symptoms disappear.

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Call 322 226 6500 or send us a message through social media.

Frequently Asked Questions About the New COVID-19 Variant

According to data from the World Health Organization, the symptoms of the new COVID variant are headaches, sore throat, nasal congestion, cough, and muscle weakness.

Yes, new vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are effective against severe COVID-19 and virus-associated mortality, including against the JN.1 subvariant.

Since its first appearance in August 2023 and until December 2023, the JN.1 variant is present in approximately 41 countries, including Mexico. The countries reporting the highest number of confirmed JN.1 cases are:

  • France
  • United States
  • Singapore
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • Sweden