Health officials are very worried about a brand-new highly mutated COVID variant, adding this one is likely more deadly than previous strains.

Recently, Hudson Valley Post reported on a new COVID variant, JN.1.

COVID Variant Spreading In New York

Canva / IvelinRadkov
Canva / IvelinRadkov


The JN.1 variant is now the most dominant strain of COVID spreading across New York State and the United States.

The strain makes up over 60 percent of all cases in the United States, as of Jan. 5.

It's also the top variant in Europe and spreading in Asia.

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Well now, a close ancestor JN.1 is starting to spread. Variant BA.2.86 is described as a "highly mutated COVID variant."


New studies, published this week, found that BA.2.86 may lead to more severe disease than other Omicron variants.

An Ohio State University study found that BA.2.86 can infect the lower lungs better than other versions of Omicron. COVID strains before Omicron were more deadly because of how it impacted the lungs, according to health officials.

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"The concern is whether or not this variant, as well as its descendants, including JN.1, will have an increased tendency to infect human lung epithelial cells similar to the parental virus that launched the pandemic," Ohio State University virology professor Dr. Shan-Lu Liu told the Irish Star.

Liu the senior author of the Ohio State University study called the findings "worrisome."

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Researchers from Germany and France came to a similar conclusion in another study on the new variant.

“BA.2.86 has regained a trait characteristic of early SARS-CoV-2 lineages: robust lung cell entry,” researchers state in their findings.

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Researchers added the BA.2.86 may lead to an "elevated health threat" as compared to previous Omicron variants.

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