The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced the JN.1 coronavirus strain, tagging it as a “variant of interest.” However, WHO clarified that this variant doesn’t seem to pose a significant threat to public health as per the available data.

This particular strain, JN.1, was previously identified as a variant of interest within the larger lineage BA.2.86. According to WHO, the risk it poses on a global scale for public health is presently considered low based on the evidence gathered so far.

The reassuring news arrives as WHO assures that the existing vaccines remain effective in guarding against severe illness and fatalities caused by JN.1 and other variants of the COVID-19 virus currently in circulation.

In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the subvariant JN.1 accounts for an estimated 15% to 29% of cases as of December 8th. However, the CDC stressed that, at present, there isn’t any evidence indicating that JN.1 presents a greater risk to public health compared to other existing variants. The CDC also suggested that an updated vaccine might further protect individuals against this particular variant.

The emergence of JN.1 traces back to its detection in the US in September, as confirmed by the CDC. Subsequently, recent reports from China have identified seven cases of this COVID subvariant.

Health experts and authorities continue to monitor the situation closely, keeping an eye on the behavior and spread of JN.1. Despite its presence in certain regions, efforts remain focused on understanding its characteristics and ensuring that appropriate measures are taken to prevent potential risks to public health.