IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


18th December, 2023 Health


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Picture Courtesy: www.jagranjosh.com

Context: The detection of the JN.1 sub-variant of COVID-19 in Kerala has triggered several responses and concerns.

About JN.1

  • The JN.1 sub-variant, currently spreading in the US and China was identified in Kerala through routine surveillance by INSACOG (Indian SARS-CoV-2 Genomics Consortium).
    • The case was discovered in Karakulam, Thiruvananthapuram, in a sample that tested positive on November 18. The patient experienced mild influenza-like illness (ILI) symptoms and has since recovered.
    • The Union Health Ministry is actively coordinating with state health authorities and conducting mock drills across health facilities nationwide to assess their readiness and preparedness by December 18.
  • JN.1 is closely related to the Pirola variant (BA.2.86) and carries one additional mutation in the spike protein compared to its relative.

Concerns and Observations

  • An increasing trend of COVID-19 cases in Kerala, attributed partially to heightened testing of ILI cases, has been noted. Most cases are mild and recovering at home.
  • Despite generally low global COVID-19 cases this year, a slight rise has been observed in early December, especially with the emergence of JN.1 in the US, China, and Singapore.


  • The detection of the JN.1 sub-variant of COVID-19 in Kerala prompts health authorities to initiate coordinated efforts. Despite its global prevalence, updated vaccines have shown efficacy against related variants, emphasizing the importance of ongoing preventive measures in managing the evolving landscape of COVID-19.

Must Read Articles:

PIROLA: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/pirola

COVID variant BA.2.86: https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/covid-variant-ba286


Q. What does "JN.1" refer to in recent news headlines?

A) A new mobile phone model

B) A sub-variant of COVID-19

C) An upcoming satellite launch

D) A pharmaceutical company's new drug

Answer: B

Explanation: "JN.1" refers to a specific variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that has been recently detected and is currently spreading in certain countries, including the US and China.