Covid-19 infection levels dip over Christmas and new yearJN.1 Covid strain: Everything we know about 'Juno' mutation now most dominant in world

It has been established that the most recent mutation to appear in Covid has taken over and is now responsible for over two-thirds of positive cases.

Even though JN.1 cases made up only 4% of cases in early November, they have surged in subsequent weeks to become the most prevalent strain worldwide. Social interaction throughout the Christmas and New Year season is thought to have contributed to the variant’s growth.

The new JN.1 variant - also known as 'Juno' - is already the world's most dominant strain
The new JN.1 variant – also known as ‘Juno’ – is already the world’s most dominant strain (Image: Getty Images)

Called also the ‘Juno’ strain, on December 30 health officials in the UK said that it was responsible for 65% of all Covid-19 cases. Taking that into consideration, here is all the information you require regarding the most common strain in Britain, which scientists claim to be the most contagious of all.

Where did it come from?

Prior to the strain spreading to the US, the UK, and other European nations, it was initially discovered in Luxembourg in August. It shares only a single spike protein with the ‘Pirola’ strain, formerly known as BA 2.86, making them close relatives.

“Yet another indication that the pandemic is far from ended is the sharp increase in JN.1 variant infections in the UK and around the world. Warwick University virologist Professor Lawrence Young stated, “JN.1 is one of the most immune-evading variants to date and is likely to be the lineage from which new variants will evolve.”

It’s the most contagious yet

The JN.1 subvariant, out of the roughly ten, has been said to be the most contagious, spreading like wildfire from one individual to the next. This does not, however, imply that it is any more severe; in fact, doctors assert that while all mutations carry the risk of grave illness, Juno is neither better nor worse.

Data reveals that on December 13, just 4.3% of persons had the virus, but since then, the percentage has significantly increased, illustrating how contagious Juno is. From 3.5% of all Covid cases in the US in mid-November to about 21% a month later, the CDC reports that it currently represents over 60% of cases.

According to Prof. Young, more indoor mingling and kids going back to school after the Christmas holiday will probably cause the number of cases to increase over the next few weeks. Scientists predicted last week that by mid-January, Covid cases may hit new record highs based on data from the UKHSA and NHS.

Are the symptoms different?

Scientists have so far listed eight known symptoms of the JN. variant. They are:

  • Sore throat.
  • Congestion.
  • Runny nose.
  • Cough.
  • Fatigue.
  • Headache.
  • Muscle aches.
  • Fever or chills.

How can I protect myself?

Although it’s not 100%, anyone who has received vaccinations, especially those who have just received boosters, will have an additional layer of protection. Physicians have advised everybody who is eligible to receive their booster shots as soon as possible if they haven’t already.

“I would advise getting your updated vaccine, consider masking in certain situations, and if you get sick, please test for Covid because you can get medicine to treat it,” Yale Medicine’s Dr. Heidi Zapata stated. The RSV virus, which causes colds, and the flu are currently causing a “tripledemic,” which includes the Juno variety.

Doctors advise anybody who qualifies to receive the most recent version of the flu shot. Additionally, people should wear masks in public, boost ventilation in rooms, and wash their hands frequently.


A UK Covid case update has been released after the new JN.1 variant has become the most prevalent in the world

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