While Omicron remains the most common variant in most of the world, a new Covid-19 variant has been discovered in France. IHU is the name given to the French variant.
IHU variant was found to have infected 12 people in a neighbourhood near Marseille, a port city in southern France.
Academics and scientists from France’s IHU Mediterranee Infection discovered the B.1.640.2, or IHU variant, on Monday.
IHU has 46 mutations, according to health officials. That is more mutations than were discovered in omicron.
Travel to the African country Cameroon has been linked to the cases.
The new strain has yet to be detected in other countries, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has not classified it as a variant under investigation. It has not added any strains to the list since November 2021, when it added omicron.
The WHO considers concern variants to be those that increase transmissibility, virulence, or decrease vaccine effectiveness.
According to experts, new variants are constantly emerging, but this does not imply that they will be more dangerous than previous strains.
According to a paper published on medRxiv, the strain has the E484K and N501Y mutations, which can make it more resistant to vaccines and more transmissible, but it is unclear whether either of these things will occur with it.
On Tuesday, France reported 271,686 new cases of COVID-19 detected in the previous 24 hours, the highest daily total since the pandemic’s outbreak in the country.
According to data released by the French Public Health Agency, a total of 20,186 COVID-19 patients are currently hospitalized and 3,665 of them are in intensive care.