DOH: 18 JN.1 cases detected in PH, all recovered

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

December 24, 2023, 7:40 pm

<p><em>(PNA file photo)</em></p>

(PNA file photo)

MANILA – The Department of Health (DOH) has detected 18 cases of the new Covid-19 strain JN.1 through genomic sequencing.

In a news release on Sunday, the DOH said the earliest sample collected was from Nov. 16 and the most recent was on Dec. 3.

“There has been no significant increase in the number or severity of cases overall. Furthermore, all the JN.1 cases have recovered,” it added.

The  agency also noted that JN.1 is not one of the new variants and strains that are labeled as "variants of concern."

It is another Omicron subvariant with no evidence of increased severity or unusual clinical presentation and no evidence that it spreads faster.

The World Health Organization (WHO) sees it as “variant of interest" as it needs to be closely observed and studied by epidemiologists and researchers worldwide.

According to the WHO, large number of JN.1 cases were recorded in France, Singapore, Canada, the United Kingdom and Sweden.

Moreover, small number of JN.1 cases were detected in China and the Indian State of Kerala.

The DOH urges everyone to use multiple layers of protection -- wearing of face mask, ensuring good airflow and adequate ventilation, covering coughs, and vaccination -- especially among high-risk and vulnerable groups.

“Doing so will help avoid an increase in influenza-like and other respiratory illnesses due to all the gatherings,” it said. (PNA)