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COVID-19 Pandemic: Variants, Impacts, and the Importance of Prevention

The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus, has been going on for over two years and has caused over 6 million deaths worldwide. The disease is highly contagious and can cause a range of symptoms, from mild to severe, including pneumonia, respiratory failure, and death.

The pandemic has had a significant impact on health, the economy, and society around the world. Millions of people have been infected, and many are still dealing with the consequences and sequelae of the disease. The emergence of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 is making the pandemic even more challenging, and it is important to continue adapting control strategies to meet the new threats.

New Variants and Their Challenges

SARS-CoV-2 variants have been a growing concern due to their ability to spread more rapidly and, in some cases, partially escape the immunity conferred by previous infections or vaccines. This highlights the importance of closely tracking changes in the virus to adjust control strategies.

Variant JN.1

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States, the JN.1 variant is responsible for about 60% of COVID-19 cases in the United States in January 2024. Globally, JN.1 is responsible for about 15% of cases.

JN.1 is a subvariant of Omicron (BA.2.75) that emerged in the United States in September 2023 and gained prominence from December. Its high transmissibility has made it dominant in countries like the United States, accounting for about 60% of cases in January 2024.

Although the severity of JN.1 symptoms appears similar to other Omicron subvariants, its rapid spread has raised concerns about an increase in cases and pressure on the healthcare system.

Omicron BA.2: A “Stealth” Variant

Known as “stealth” or “hidden path”, Omicron BA.2 stands out as the most prevalent variant globally, representing around 90% of cases. Despite its high transmissibility, this variant generally causes milder symptoms compared to previous variants.

Omicron BA.4 and Omicron BA.5

Two new Omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, are gaining ground around the world. More transmissible than BA.2, there is no evidence that they cause more serious illnesses.

Delta: A Persistent Variant

The Delta variant, although older, still circulates in some parts of the world. Less transmissible than the Omicron variants, Delta can still cause serious illness

Other Variants

In addition to these variants, health agencies closely monitor other strains, including Lambda, Mu, Gamma and Beta. Stay updated on the development of these variants to better understand the current pandemic scenario

Impacts of COVID-19 and post-recovery sequelae

The impacts of COVID-19 can be physical, psychological and social. The most common physical symptoms of the disease include fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, headache, fatigue and muscle pain. In severe cases, the disease can cause pneumonia, respiratory failure and death.
The consequences of COVID-19 can be short, medium or long term. Short-term after-effects include fatigue, shortness of breath, cough, loss of taste and smell, headache, sleep problems and anxiety. Medium-term sequelae include heart, lung, neurological and kidney problems. Long-term after-effects, also known as post-COVID syndrome, can include chronic fatigue, shortness of breath, coughing, memory loss, concentration problems and depression.

COVID-19 reinfection

It is possible to be reinfected by COVID-19, even after being vaccinated. Reinfection is more likely in people who have not been vaccinated or who have not received all doses of the vaccine.
Symptoms of COVID-19 reinfection may be similar to those of primary infection, but are generally milder. However, it is also possible for reinfection to cause serious symptoms, including pneumonia and respiratory failure.

The Importance of Continued Prevention

The COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet. Despite the progress of vaccination and the reduction in the number of cases and deaths, it is important to maintain preventive measures to prevent the spread of the virus and protect yourself and others.

Preventive measures include:

  • Vaccination against COVID-19, including booster shots. Vaccination is the most effective measure to protect yourself from infection, severe illness, hospitalization, and death.
  • Wearing a face mask in public places, especially in closed and crowded environments. The face mask helps to reduce the transmission of the virus by blocking the respiratory droplets that are expelled when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks.
  • Maintaining social distancing. Avoid crowds and keep a distance of at least 2 meters from other people.
  • Washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Handwashing helps to remove the virus from the skin.

In addition to these measures, it is also important to stay informed about the news about the pandemic and follow the guidance of health authorities.

Continued prevention is essential to control the COVID-19 pandemic and protect the health of everyone.


The COVID-19 pandemic over two years has claimed the lives of more than 6 million people worldwide. The emergence of variants, such as JN.1 and Omicron BA.2, underscores the ongoing need for adaptation in control strategies. The importance of prevention, including vaccination, social distancing, and hand hygiene, is emphasized in the face of uncertainties related to reinfection and post-recovery sequelae. The path forward requires unity in implementing preventive measures and constant vigilance to address the evolving challenges of the virus.

We will always be attentive to relevant information and updates regarding Covid-19. Follow our website and stay up to date with all the information first hand

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