CDC Identifies Novel COVID-19 Strains JN.1 and HV.1

Following a temporary decline, new COVID-19 variants have reemerged. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has expressed worries about two fresh variants, JN.1 and HV.1, highlighting their potential to evade the immune system.

It added that nearly all viruses circulating in the US now are part of the XBB family and that JN.1 makes up less than 0.1 percent of SARS-CoV-2 viruses.The CDC said initial data suggest that updated COVID-19 vaccines will help protect against BA.2.86, and it expects a similar effect against JN.1.

BA.2.86’s Transmissibility and JN.1’s Vaccination Impact

“There is some data that suggest JN.1’s parent BA.2.86 may be more transmissible than previous variants. Since JN.1 is a derivative of BA.2.86, there is a concern that it may be more transmissible. The updated vaccine is closer to JN.1 than our old vaccine, the hope is that, even if we see more cases with JN.1, the updated vaccine will protect against severe disease,” said Thomas Russo, professor and chief of infectious diseases at the University at Buffalo in New York, was quoted as saying to

‘In a respiratory virus update, the CDC linked JN.1 to BA.2.86, sharing an additional spike mutation (L455S) with immune-evasion potential. Discovered in the US in September, JN.1 is now present in 11 countries, including the UK, US, Iceland, Portugal, and Spain. #covid19 #newvariants’

Further, according to the CDC Data, HV.1 surfaced in mid-summer, before cases began rapidly increasing in September. Now, the variant causes nearly 20 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the US, the agency said. HV.1 is a sub-variant Omicron XBB, that descended from EG.5. According to experts, both JN.1 and HV.1 are transmissible.

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“For as long as we have COVID-19, we’ll have new variants. Nearly all represent relatively small changes compared with previous variants. CDC and other agencies monitor for impacts of new variants on vaccines, tests, and treatments, and will alert the public quickly if anything concerning is detected,” the CDC said.

Source: IANS


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