A new corona variant in Austria

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In the midst of the coronavirus wave, a new coronavirus mutation is now causing a stir. The JN.1 variant is said to be even more contagious.

As soon as winter arrives, the coronavirus not only dominates the infection scene again but also produces new offspring. After Eris (EG.5) and Pirola (BA.2.86), the JN.1 variant is now causing a stir in research circles. “JN.1 popped up in France a few weeks ago and caused a small outbreak in the north,” explains virologist Monika Redlberger-Fritz from MedUni Vienna.

According to the expert, the first cases of the Pirola derivative have already been detected in Austria. However, not much is known about it yet due to the limited data available.

In September 2023, Thomas Russo, an infectious disease researcher at the University of Buffalo in New York, made the discovery of the variant. Since then, JN.1 has spread to at least eleven other countries. In addition, the Omikron subline could be even more contagious due to a number of changes in the spike protein, Russo warns. This was already the case for Pirola, its predecessor, which exhibited more than thirty mutations. However, JN.1 tops this once again.

Russo describes the variant in the US health magazine “Prevention” as “insidious”. According to the scientist, this allows the virus to penetrate cells faster than before. Because of the numerous mutations, the body takes longer to mount an immune response, which prolongs illness rather than shortening it.

At least in terms of symptoms, there should be no nasty surprises this time. This is the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s evaluation. It can cause symptoms like a sore throat, aching limbs, breathing difficulties, fever, and cough because it is a sub-variant of the Omicron variant.

  • source: heute.at/picture:pixabay.com
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