As COVID cases reach relatively high levels again, here are the symptoms to watch out for.
The JN.1 COVID variant spread rapidly throughout December 2023 and has now become the most prevalent strain of the virus in the United States, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) . JN.1 cases are also increasing in the United Kingdom, as well as China and India.
Health officials are currently unsure whether JN.1 infections produce different symptoms than other variants, with the CDC noting that “the types of symptoms and their severity generally depend more on immunity and general health.” of a person rather than the variant causing the infection. infection.”
That said, there is decent evidence that people are reporting slightly different COVID symptoms this season.
The latest data from December 2023 from the UK Office for National Statistics suggests that the most commonly reported symptoms among respondents with COVID-19 include:
- Runny nose (31.1 percent)
- Cough (22.9 percent)
- Headaches (20.1 percent)
- Weakness or fatigue (19.6 percent)
- Muscle pain (15.8 percent)
- Sore throat (13.2 percent)
- Sleep problems (10.8 percent)
- Worry or anxiety (10.5 percent).
Many of the main symptoms, including runny nose and cough, have been reported in people with COVID since 2020, although the list includes some new additions, such as trouble sleeping and anxiety.
It’s also worth noting that loss of taste and smell – once thought to be a telltale sign of COVID – is now only reported by 2-3% of those infected in the UK.
The sudden increase in JN.1 suggests that it is either more transmissible or more capable of evading our immune systems. However, the good news is that there is currently nothing to suggest it is more aggressive than other variants in circulation.
“At this time, there is no evidence that JN.1 poses an increased risk to public health compared to other variants currently circulating,” the CDC said on its website.
The broader COVID-19 guidelines remain much the same as ever: Stay safe, and if you test positive, it’s best to stay home, isolating yourself from others for at least five days. The CDC notes: “It is important to know that existing vaccines, tests, and treatments still work well against JN.1, so this variant does not affect CDC recommendations. »
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The content of this article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding medical conditions.
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