(Reuters) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Friday that COVID subvariant JN.1 accounts for 39% to 50% of cases in the United States as of Dec. 23, according to the agency's projections.
This is an increase from the estimated 15% to 29% of cases in the United States, the CDC had projected as of Dec. 8.
The CDC said the variant continues to cause an increasing share of infections and is now the most widely circulating variant in the country.
The continued growth suggests the variant is either more transmissible or better at evading immune systems than other circulating variants, it added.
It is too early to know whether or to what extent JN.1 will cause an increase in infections or hospitalizations, the CDC said, adding that existing vaccines, tests, and treatments still work well against it.
On Tuesday, the World Health Organization classified JN.1 as a "variant of interest" and said current evidence shows risk to public health was low from the strain.
(Reporting by Sriparna Roy in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)