Meet the IHU Variant: New Covid Variant Vith 46 Mutations

While the world is dealing with the highly infectious Omicron strain of Covid, scientists in France have discovered a new variety with 46 mutations that could be concerning. Indexed B.1.640.2, the IHU variant has infected 12 people in southeastern France thus far.

According to reports, the new variation has 46 mutations, which is more than Omicron. The first incidence was recorded by someone who had traveled from Cameroon. Later, the patient was said to have been vaccinated.

It’s “too early to speculate on virological, epidemiological or clinical features of this IHU variant based on these 12 cases,” they wrote in the article, which hasn’t been peer reviewed.

Raoult stirred controversy in the early stages of the pandemic by recommending treatment with hydroxychloroquine. The WHO monitors multiple variants, and when it finds one may pose a significant risk, it declares it a “variant of concern.” This one is only under investigation.

The “IHU” variant is said to contain a strain with the N501Y mutation, which was present in the Alpha variant. The new strain, according to scientists, also possesses the E484K mutation, making it vaccine-resistant.

What is WHO’s view on the new IHU Variant?

Infection Prevention Control Specialist at the World Health Organization Abdi Mahamud, said the new variant was on the “radar” of the UN health body since it was first identified in November. The new variant was reportedly identified around the same time as Omicron. Abdi Mahamud said the “virus had a lot of chances to pick up.” WHO said the new variant is under investigation but it has not been identified as a threat as yet by the health body.

Meanwhile, France has reported 270,000 COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, with health minister Olivier Veran warning that daily coronavirus cases might reach 300,000 in the near future.

Despite the country’s introduction of COVID-19 health cards enabling only vaccinated people to enter restaurants and cinema halls, the French government has decided that unvaccinated persons will be barred from numerous places.

The new legislation intends to eliminate the option of demonstrating a “negative” test in health passes, as well as other restrictions on persons who have not been vaccinated.

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