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Health Experts Warn: New COVID Variant Demonstrates “Increased Contagiousness”

Dublin: World is currently grappling with a fresh threat to public health as a new strain of COVID-19, identified as JN.1, emerges within the Omicron series. Despite concerns about its heightened virulence compared to previous strains, experts are cautiously optimistic, emphasising that the overall risk remains low.

This particular variant, classified by the World Health Organization as a variant of interest, was first detected two winters ago. Professor Kingston Mills, an esteemed expert in experimental immunology at Trinity College, Dublin, highlighted the structural changes in JN.1, making it challenging to prevent. The virus primarily targets the respiratory system, affecting the lungs and throat.

In a reassuring note, Professor Mills expressed confidence that the latest iteration of the vaccine is likely to be effective against this new variant. Nevertheless, he cautioned that the constant evolution of such strains, akin to the flu, is anticipated in the days ahead. To mitigate potential risks, particularly for the vulnerable elderly and those with weakened immune systems, Professor Mills strongly recommended the administration of COVID booster vaccines.

Despite ongoing efforts, the issue of long COVID persists, underscoring the importance of continued vigilance and preventive measures. As the situation evolves, staying informed and proactively addressing emerging variants remains crucial in safeguarding public health.

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