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Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Dec 24, 2023  1 month, 4 weeks, 5 hours, 7 minutes ago

COVID-19 News: 20-30 Percent Of Denmark’s Population Ill Due To COVID-19 But Advent Of JN.1 Expected To Drive Up Hospitalizations!

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COVID-19 News: 20-30 Percent Of Denmark’s Population Ill Due To COVID-19 But Advent Of JN.1 Expected To Drive Up Hospitalizations!
Nikhil Prasad  Fact checked by:Thailand Medical News Team Dec 24, 2023  1 month, 4 weeks, 5 hours, 7 minutes ago
COVID-19 News: As the winter season envelops Denmark, a concerning surge in COVID-19 cases has taken hold, estimating that 20-30 percent of the population is currently grappling with the virus.

This resurgence echoes the Omicron outbreak of February 2022, and the emergence of a new variant, JN.1, has further complicated the ongoing battle against the pandemic.
The Current State of Infections
The infectious wave sweeping across Denmark is not limited to COVID-19 alone. Respiratory infections, including RSV, whooping cough, influenza, and mycoplasma, are on the rise, creating a perfect storm of winter respiratory infections and adding strain to the public healthcare system.
Experts, led by Dr Jens Lundgren, Professor of infectious diseases at Rigshospitalet, estimate the widespread prevalence of illness in the population.
The Statens Serum Institut's (SSI) waste water monitoring reveals a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases, reaching levels comparable to the Omicron outbreak in February 2022.
JN.1 Variant Emerges
The advent of JN.1 in Denmark is expected to cause a rise in hospitalizations in coming weeks. Local COVID-19 News coverages have confirmed the advent of JN.1 in Denmark.
The JN.1 variant, a spawn of BA.2.86 is at present considered the most transmissible variant to date and is expected to cause a global wave that could surpass what its predecessor the Omicron variant caused at the end of 2021 and beginning of 2022.
Dr Morten Rasmussen, a senior researcher at the Statens Serum Institut, underscores the significance of JN.1, labeling it as the most contagious variant currently in circulation.
According to the latest data from the Statens Serum Institut's (SSI), BA.2.86 now makes up a total of 82 percent of all examined samples, of which JN.1 constitutes more than 61 percent of all sequence in Denmark. g/sygdomsovervaagning/c/covid19-overvaagning
Mutations and Immunity Evasion
JN.1's distinctiveness stems from additional mutations, particularly in the spike gene, specifically the L455C mutation. This genetic alteration enhances its ability to evade immunity acquired through vaccination and prior infections. The variant's prevalence is not limited to Denmark; it dominates wastewater samples globally, prompting the World Health Organization (WHO) to designate JN.1 as a variant of interest.
Global Impact of JN.1
The unprecedented speed with which JN.1 is spreading globally is causing widespread concern. Unlike its predecessors, this sub-variant is contributing to a substantial increase in infections on a global scale. Wastewater monitoring in nations like Great Britain, the United States, the Netherlands, and France is recording record-breaking levels of infection.
New Symptom
There are speculations by many that the new JN.1 is exhibiting tropism towards the gastrointestinal tract although there are no published studies to date to validate these claims. However, reports are emerging that many infected with the JN.1 variant are developing abdominal pains and discomfort, diarrhea, gastric reflux, gastrointestinal bleeding and loss of appetite besides the other typical symptoms such as fevers, coughs, body pains, fatigue and headaches.
Alarmingly, reports of incidences of splenic infarctions and intestinal ischemia are also increasing among those infected with the JN.1 variant.
Past studies covered by Thailand Medical News had shown that SARS-CoV-2 is capable of causing such serious gastrointestinal issues!
Studies are currently underway to understand the pathogenesis of the JN.1 variant.
Impact on Holiday Season
With Christmas around the corner, concerns arise about the potential impact of the surge on holiday celebrations. Dr Bolette Søborg from the Statens Serum Institut does not recommend canceling Christmas but emphasizes the importance of following safety protocols, especially for those infected. Vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, are reminded to take extra precautions against both COVID-19 and influenza.
Vaccine Protection and Future Outlook
Despite the alarming rise in infections, current evidence claims that this year's variant-adapted COVID-19 vaccine and cross-immunity continue to offer protection against severe disease. The WHO claims that the additional risk posed by JN.1 on a global scale as low. The SSI claims that Denmark, having recently vaccinated many elderly and vulnerable individuals, finds itself in a relatively favorable position compared to the Omicron outbreak in February 2022.
Ongoing Research and Vigilance
As Denmark grapples with the surge in COVID-19 cases fueled by the JN.1 variant, ongoing research and vigilance are imperative. The unique characteristics of JN.1, its rapid global spread, and the potential emergence of new symptoms underscore the need for a comprehensive understanding of the variant's behavior. Scientists and health authorities worldwide are closely monitoring the situation to adapt strategies and interventions as needed.
The winter resurgence of COVID-19 in Denmark, driven by the JN.1 variant, presents a multifaceted challenge. The co-occurrence of various respiratory infections intensifies the impact, requiring a nuanced approach to public health. While concerns loom over the holiday season, adherence to safety measures offer hope in managing the situation. Ongoing research into JN.1's behavior and potential new symptoms will contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the variant, guiding global efforts to curb the spread.
However, the healthcare infrastructure in Denmark is still expected to bear the brunt of the JN.1 wave and hospitalizations are expected to climb in coming weeks.
For the latest COVID-19 News, keep on logging to Thailand Medical News.


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