COVID-19

What Is ‘IHU’? Stronger Than Omicron, New Variant Detected In France, 12 Affected

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OB Bureau

Paris: A new variant of Coronavirus — B.1.640.2 — is believed to have infected at least 12 persons in France.

The variant, temporarily named ‘IHU’, has 46 mutations, even more than Omicron, French researchers have found, though they said it is too early to speculate on its virological or clinical features.

The strain was first detected in a fully vaccinated person who had returned shortly to southern France from Cameroon in central Africa.

French scientists called this “another example of the unpredictability of the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants.”

However, the Omicron variant is still the dominant strain in most parts of the world. The B.1.640.2 has not been spotted in other countries or labelled a variant under investigation by the World Health Organization (WHO).

US epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding posted on his social media handle, “There are scores of new variants discovered all the time, but it does not necessarily mean they will be more dangerous.”

OB Bureau

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