COVID variant JN.1 has been detected in Kerala raising alarm bells among the health authorities. 

The new COVID-19 strain, JN.1 is on the rise in Kerala causing concern among the public and health experts. First detected in the U.S., China, and now in India is a descendant of the Pirola variant (BA.2.86), which is a sub-variant of Omicron. 

Similar to the previous strains of the virus, the symptoms associated with JN.1 include running nose, fever, sore throat, headache, and mild gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea and abdominal pain. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have indicated that JN.1 does not pose a great risk yet adopting preventive measures is significant. Frequent hand washing, maintaining social distancing, and wearing a mask are necessary to curb the spread. 

As per the news agency ANI, Senior Consultant in Chest Medicine at Delhi's Ganga Ram Hospital, Dr. Ujjwal Prakash, speaking about the emergence of this variant, stated that although alertness is crucial, there is no need for people to panic. "You need to be more vigilant. I don't think that there's reason to panic or do anything extra than just being vigilant," he added.

“The first way going forward is testing this new variant of COVID if possible, and then we have to see whether they have COVID or any other viral infection. Symptoms are almost very common with other viral infections. They may be slightly more severe. Some patients may have some symptoms more severe than others, but more or less the infection is just like any other viral infection," Dr Prakash further added.

According to the experts, new variants of Sars-CoV-2 will keep emerging. It is time to bring back protective measures in our daily routine. Doctors have advised to wear a mask in crowded places specifically enclosed ones. Frequent washing of hands and remaining in well-ventilated spaces will reduce the infection's spread.  

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