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Omicron Sub-Variant JN.1 Hits Thailand’s Elderly: The Unvaccinated at Risk Amid Rising COVID-19 Cases

Welcome to the swirling vortex of the JN.1 saga – a sub-variant of Omicron that sneaked up on us with the subtlety of a ninja in a silent movie. Last week, this little troublemaker caused quite the hullabaloo, catapulting people straight from their cozy beds to the less comfortable hospital beds.

Picture this: The airwaves were abuzz with the clatter of stethoscopes and the steady beeping of heart monitors. Alas, the cast of this drama was predominantly the noble elderly, warriors who had braved life’s battles but had yet to encounter Mr. JN.1. These untiring souls, unfortunately, hadn’t queued up for vaccines or their booster allies. Can you imagine the audacity?

The Department of Disease Control, donning their detective hats, reported a mysterious case of the exploding statistics – 718 new Covid-19 cases popping up like toast in a toaster, reaching an average of 102 on the daily new case-o-meter. This was just the week concluding January 20. The prior week seemingly played a coy game, averaging 93 newbies per day and lamenting four departing souls. JN.1 seemed to quite like the spotlight.

Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty, shall we? Out of the 718 affected last week, there were 209 lung warriors battling the severe pneumonia dragon, with a whopping 149 on the mechanical breathing gizmo – the endotracheal tube. The casualty report sadly had 11 stars twinkling in the night sky; all were esteemed members of the “608 at-risk” ensemble – the vulnerable elderly with chronic backups humming alongside. A notable mention – six of the eleven never had a dance with the vaccine, while the others only had a couple of rounds.

All the rigor and fervor boiled down to the culprit – Omicron’s stealthy spawn, JN.1, doing the rounds in the Land of Smiles. Yet, it brought none. If JN.1 were a person, it would greet you with coughs, a grumpy throat, a relay of aches, a pounding noggin’, and a nose mimicking a leaky faucet. Health sleuths, however, have declared a silver lining – JN.1 doesn’t seem to pack more punch than the original Omicron act.

A throwback to December 5 last year, when the World Health Organization (WHO), the head honcho of health, chimed in with a nugget of wisdom. They advised the elderly and those with mischief-making immune systems to seek refuge in a Covid-19 vaccine fortress every six to 12 months. The aim? To slam the door on severe illness and bidding the world adieu.

The DDC, those lovable boffins, had a pro-tip to topple off. If you’re part of the 608 club, feeling under the weather, and your antigen-test-kit (ATK) flashes a not-so-happy emoji, mask up and hightail it to the nearest medicine man! And if you find yourself in the spiral of sniffles, the DDC hotline 1422 is your bat signal for guidance through the Covid fog.

So there we have it, folks! The JN.1 chronicles, racing through our lives with all the subtlety of a rhino in a china shop. Remember, behind every mask is a superhero in waiting, and with our vaccines in our armory, we are ready for battle. Keep your hands washed, your hearts strong, and your spirits unyielded.

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