New COVID variant ‘IHU’ detected in France, 12 affected, reports say that it may be more infectious than Omicron

New COVID variant detected in France

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Amid the rapid surge of Omicron cases across the world, a new COVID variant called ‘IHU’ has emerged in the southern part of France. The variant B.1.640.2 is believed to have been discovered at the institute IHU Mediterranee Infection. Reports say that the IHU variant contains 46 mutations and may be more harmful than the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Ringing the alarm bells over the emergence of the new variant, the southern part of France has reported at least 12 cases. According to the US epidemiologist and health economist Eric Feigl-Ding, the variant can be identified using careful PCR analysis of signals that are different from Delta and Omicron.

“These observations show once again the unpredictability of the emergence of new #SARSCoV2 variants and their introduction from abroad, and they exemplify the difficulty to control such introduction and subsequent spread.”, he said. However, Feigl-Ding has further highlighted that 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”, he added on Twitter.

So far, the B.1.640.2 has not been detected in other countries or designated as a variant of concern by the World Health Organisation (WHO). According to the reports, the first case of IHU variant was an adult who tested positive using RT-PCR performed in a laboratory on a nasopharyngeal sample collected in mid-November last year.

Source: opindia.com

New COVID variant ‘IHU’ detected in France, 12 affected, reports say that it may be more infectious than Omicron