Doctors Allay Fears About Corona's New Variant

02 January 2024 Coronavirus

Reports Al-Qabas daily say doctors specializing in preventive health are assuring the public that the new Coronavirus variant - 'JN.1' - poses no threat since it causes mild symptoms, a low hospitalization rate and often leads to rapid recovery. These doctors told the daily that the medical teams in the country have vast experience and are efficiently dealing with any health development. They pointed out that the whole world has obtained immunity and the vaccines in Kuwait are good.

They advised those with serious diseases to take precautionary health measures, such as reducing contact if symptoms similar to seasonal influenza and others appear. Preventive health physician and general practitioner at Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company (KIPIC) Dr Khaled Al-Hajri affirmed that “the health situation in Kuwait is under control and does not cause concern, according to the latest reports issued by the Ministry of Health.” He reiterated that the virus, despite its mutations, remains under the supervision of specialized medical teams, indicating that preliminary studies have shown the new variant is not as dangerous as some expect. He advised everyone to take the necessary precautions, especially among groups most at risk such as the elderly and people with immune diseases, calling on them in particular to continue wearing masks in gathering places and closed areas as a preventive measure.

While he underscored the importance of getting winter vaccinations, which are the primary line of defense against the virus and its variants; he confirmed the continuous monitoring of the health situation in the country. He said the Health Ministry is working side by side with international bodies to ensure an effective response to any development. Another public health doctor — Ahmad Al-Otaibi — said the new variant is derived from Omicron and has been spreading for some time now. He added the symptoms of most cases are mild and the rate of hospitalization is very low. He told the daily that vaccination works efficiently and the only thing required is to monitor the symptoms if they develop into difficulty breathing. He also emphasized the importance of taking the influenza vaccine as a preventive measure.

He disclosed that the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a statement, indicating that “JN.1’ is the reason behind the increasing number of infections in the United States and that the variant is either more contagious or better at evading the immune systems in our bodies than other variants.” He then pointed out that there is no evidence JN.1 causes more serious symptoms than other variants, asserting there are no symptoms specific to JN.1. He said the initial symptoms are the same as the other newer variants, such as sore or itchy throat, fatigue, headache, and cough.

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