PR 01/24

Date: 02/01/2023

Ministry of Health & Medical Services Monitors Fiji’s Borders for JN.1 Variant of COVID-19

The Ministry of Health & Medical Services is collaborating with the World Health Organization (WHO) on the reported emergence of the JN.1 variant of the COVID-19 virus.

Multiple countries around the world have reported this variant and the WHO has classified JN.1 as a separate variant of interest (VOI) from the parent lineage BA.2.86 variant on 18 December 2023 given its rapid increase in prevalence. Based on current evidence and information available, there were minimal admissions and public health impacts at this time from this VOI. This may change as more is known about the illness caused by this variant.

The Ministry is continuing to monitor the situation with the new variant and is scaling up the surveillance process and laboratory investigations at the Fiji Centre for Disease Control (Fiji CDC).

The Ministry is urging the public to remain vigilant and take proactive measures to protect against respiratory illnesses. This includes practicing good hand hygiene, and proper coughing and sneezing practice, staying up to date with vaccinations, and seeking prompt medical attention for any concerning symptoms. Vulnerable members of our communities such as the elderly, pregnant, babies and young children, disabled, and those with chronic diseases should be encouraged and supported with personal COVID-19 safety measures.

Travelers are advised to ensure their COVID vaccination is updated and to practice COVID-safe measures including the use of face masks where appropriate while overseas.

The Ministry encourages anyone who falls sick with COVID-19-like symptoms to get tested, and if positive, avoid attending work or gathering over the 5 days. Those who are experiencing severe illness that includes shortness of breath should present themselves immediately to their nearest health facility for treatment.

COVID-19 Symptoms

People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. Possible symptoms include:

➔        Fever or chills

➔        Cough

➔        Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

➔        Fatigue

➔        Muscle or body aches

➔        Headache

➔        Loss of taste or smell

➔        Sore throat

➔        Congestion or runny nose

➔        Nausea or vomiting

➔        Diarrhea

 

When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention

➔        Trouble breathing

➔        Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

➔        Confused state.

➔        Inability to wake or stay awake.

➔        Pale, gray, or blue-colored skin, lips, or nail beds, depending on skin tone.

 

ENDS.

Last Updated on 7 months by Publishing Team

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