(CTN News) – Over 850,000 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded during the 28 days from November 20 to December 17, 2023, a 52% increase compared to the previous 28-day period, according to a statement released on Sunday by the World Health Organization (WHO).
As of December 17, 2023, there have been over 772 million confirmed cases and almost seven million deaths reported globally. This is despite an 8% decrease in the amount of new fatalities compared to the previous 28-day period, with over 3,000 new fatalities recorded.
Hospitalizations, intensive care unit admissions, variations of interest, and variants under surveillance were updated in a new COVID-19 epidemiological update released today by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Worldwide, the number of new cases of COVID-19 hospitalizations increased by 23% and the number of new cases of intensive care unit (ICU) admissions increased by 51% between November 13 and December 10, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Because of its fast rise in prevalence in the past several weeks, JN.1, a sub-lineage of the Omicron variant of BA.2.86, has been identified as a distinct variant of interest (VOI) as of December 18. EG.5 is still the “variant of interest” that has received the most reports on a global scale.
Following its fast expansion, the World Health Organization (WHO) has classified variant JN.1 as a distinct variant of interest (VOI) from its parent lineage BA.2.86. Among the sublineages of BA.2.86, it was once categorized as VOI.
The evidence suggests that the increased global public health risk caused by JN.1 is negligible. Regardless, many nations may see an uptick in respiratory infections due to JN.1 as winter approaches in the Northern Hemisphere.
The World Health Organization is closely monitoring the evidence and will revise the JN.1 risk assessment if necessary.
Vaccines against JN.1 and other COVID-19 strains of SARS-CoV-2 still prevent serious illness and mortality.
There are other respiratory diseases prevalent than COVID-19. Common childhood pneumonia, influenza, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are all on the rise.
To avoid infections and serious diseases, the World Health Organization recommends that people use all available instruments, such as:
- If you must be in an enclosed, crowded, or poorly ventilated space, wear a mask and maintain as much personal space as possible.
- Remember to cover your coughs and sneezes as part of good respiratory hygiene.
- Keep your hands clean at all times.
- If you are particularly vulnerable to severe illness from COVID-19 or the flu, you must maintain a current immunization schedule.
- Ill people should stay home.
- See a doctor if you’re sick, or if you think you may have come into contact with someone who has the flu or COVID-19.