Christmas Threat as New Covid Variant Hits Nearly Half of US Cases, CDC Warns

In an effort to combat the tightening grip of the Covid virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is making a fervent appeal to Americans, urging them to avail themselves of the updated Covid shot. 

The looming threat of a substantial surge in new cases is anticipated to cascade across the United States in the upcoming weeks, coinciding with the holiday season’s gatherings.

This anticipated surge is attributed to the highly transmissible JN.1 subvariant of the coronavirus, rapidly establishing itself as the predominant strain circulating in the country. 

Recent CDC data reveals that JN.1, initially identified in the US in September, currently constitutes approximately 20 percent of cases, with expectations to reach 50 percent within the next fortnight.

Closely linked to the Omicron subvariant BA.2.86, JN.1 distinguishes itself by harboring over three dozen mutations in its spike protein. 

The implications of this genetic makeup raise concerns about increased transmissibility and potential evasion of the immune system, potentially leading to elevated mortality and hospitalization rates.

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JN.1 Severity Unconfirmed, Vaccines Effective for Holidays

christmas-threat-as-new-covid-variant-hits-half-us-cases-cdc-wans
In an effort to combat the tightening grip of the Covid virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is making a fervent appeal to Americans, urging them to avail themselves of the updated Covid shot.

Despite this, the CDC emphasizes that there is no evidence to suggest that the JN.1 strain causes more severe disease than other recent variants. 

Encouragingly, current evidence indicates that vaccines and antiviral medications remain effective against it.

However, the CDC remains cautious, particularly as the holiday season prompts increased travel and family gatherings. 

Dr. Manisha Patel from the CDC warns of the heightened risk associated with amplified social interactions during this period.

In response to the impending surge, an extensive vaccine initiative is currently in progress to curb the anticipated rise in cases over the coming weeks. 

Despite this, the vaccination rate in the US remains suboptimal, with only about 18 percent of Americans receiving the updated Covid-19 shot available since September. 

Notably, at nursing homes, only approximately one-third of residents are up to date with Covid-19 vaccines.

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