While the globe is dealing with the outbreak of the Omicron virus, which has a high rate of transmission, scientists and experts in France have purportedly discovered a new COVID-19 version known as ‘IHU.’ According to reports, the new variant is a more altered strain than Omicron. French researchers have detected a new Covid variant, probably of Cameroonian origin, and have temporarily named it as ‘IHU‘.
Nearly 12 cases of this new variant have been detected near Marseilles, according to media reports, and it has been linked to the African country Cameroon. However, in most parts of the world, the Omicron strain still reigns supreme.
Academics at the institute IHU Mediterranee Infection were the first to identify the B.1.640.2 or IHU variety, which has 46 mutations, which is more than Omicron. This new variant could pose a serious threat, but no instances have been documented in countries other than France, and the World Health Organization has not classified it as a “variant under investigation” (WHO).
The strain carries the E484K mutation, which can make it more resistant to vaccines, according to a report published on medRxiv. It also has the N501Y mutation, which was initially detected in the Alpha form and is thought to make it more transmissible, according to specialists.
“These data demonstrate once again the unpredictability of the formation of new SARS-CoV-2 variants and their importation from overseas,” the researchers write. They also demonstrate how difficult it is to keep such an introduction and subsequent dissemination under control.”
At least 12 instances of the new type have been discovered near Marseilles, with travel to the African country of Cameroon being related. Eric Feigl-Ding, a US epidemiologist and health economist, is one of an increasing number of experts outside of France who has raised concerns about the new variety.
📍New variant alert—I’m quietly monitoring several odd variants signals that have emerged this week. For now, I’ll just share this— #B11529 has 32 new mutations in the #SARSCoV2 spike protein alone— “an extremely high number” & “could be a real concern”.🧵https://t.co/Nm5MqzmycS pic.twitter.com/CGOCuSoy5h
— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) November 25, 2021
Epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding, on Twitter, said, “The mutations have caused “Fourteen amino acid substitutions, and 9 amino acid deletions—which are located in the spike protein.”
He further added, “ There are scores of new variants discovered all the time, but it does not necessarily mean they will be more dangerous. What makes a variant more well-known and dangerous is its ability to multiply because of the number of mutations it has in relation to the original virus.”
The B.1.640.2 has not been recorded in any other country, and the World Health Organization has not classified it as a variety under investigation (WHO). The news comes as France announces a new plan to combat non-vaccinated people.