Tokyo, Jan 29 (IANS) As reported infection cases have risen for continuous nine weeks in Japan, infectious disease expert believes that the country is probably in the midst of a 10th wave of Covid-19 infections.
The new JN.1 variant, which is extremely contagious, is driving the spread, reports the Japan Times.
The Japanese Health Ministry noted that in the week ending January 21, there were 12.23 infected persons reported per organisation, which is 1.4 times more than the previous week. The growth continued from late November last year.
Visiting professor of infectious diseases at Keio University — Norio Sugaya has warned the public to take precautions.
As per the report, rising JN.1 infections, which resulted from a mutation from the BA.2.86 omicron variation, are the cause of the coronavirus comeback.
“JN.1 seems to be better able to evade immunity. The current situation can be described as the 10th wave of infections, and the number of infected people is feared to rise further due to the spread of JN.1,” Sugaya was quoted as saying.
Moreover, the report said that the new variant is rapidly replacing others in Japan.
The majority, or almost 20 per cent, of the 194 Covid-19 samples that private testing companies looked at between January 1 and January 7 were JN.1, according to the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.
Early next month, the share is expected to hit 43 per cent, the report mentioned.
As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), there is no evidence that JN.1 causes more severe symptoms than other variants. However, JN.1 probably spreads faster because it evades the human immune system more readily.