Mokokchung, 24 January (MTNews): The Department of Health & Family Welfare, Mokokchung, has issued an advisory urging citizens to adopt COVID-appropriate behavior in response to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases attributed to the JN.1 variant in the country.

It was informed that the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that JN.1 is currently responsible for 62% of all instances of SARS-CoV-2. A total of 1,640 confirmed cases of COVID-19 Sub-variant JN.1 have been recorded in the country so far. Data compiled by the Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium (INSACOG) showed that cases of the JN.1 variant have been recorded in 17 states of India, it added.

What is JN.1?
A SARS-CoV-2 variant called BA.2.86 emerged a few months ago and caught virologists’ attention because it contains many more mutations—about 30 of them—to evade immunity than any other variant circulating at that time. However, the BA.2.86 variant never came to dominate among the group of SARS-CoV-2 variants that were circulating in the late summer/early fall of 2023. The JN.1 variant is a descendant of BA.2.86 that has acquired the ability to transmit efficiently through additional one or two mutations. It has the immune evasion of its parent but has now mutated to transmit more efficiently.

Dos and Don’ts
The Mokokchung Health Department emphasized the importance of these preventive measures:

· Wear a mask or cover your mouth and nose with a handkerchief or tissue when you cough or sneeze.

· Persons above 60 years, persons with comorbid conditions, other health issues, pregnant women, elderly are advised to wear masks as it not only protects from Covid19, Flu but other respiratory illnesses.

· Wash your hands often with soap and water.

· Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth unnecessarily.

· Avoid visiting crowded places and if visiting such places use a facemask.

· Maintain basic minimum distance from persons affected with flu.

· Sleep adequately, be physically active and deal with stress effectively.

· Drink plenty of water and eat nutritious food.

· Avoid spitting in public.

· Avoid travel to places with high incidence of Influenza and other respiratory illnesses.

If You Experience Flu-Like Symptoms:
· Visit the nearest Govt. Health Care Centre if the Influenza-Like Illness (ILI) occurs.

· Stay at home, do not travel or go to work or school; Use face mask for protection.

· Avoid close contact with others for at least 7days after your symptoms begin or until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer.

· Report to the nearest Govt Health facility if symptoms aggravate; the symptoms being fever, chills, malaise, loss of appetite, body aches, nausea, sneezing and prolonged dry cough typically in connection with a sudden onset of illness.

· The high risk population may experience the symptoms for up to 3 weeks.

· Do not self-medicate or take medicines/antibiotics without consulting your doctor, and follow the medical advice appropriately.

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