Sylhettoday Desk

04 January, 2022 22:34

Covid-19 variant ‘IHU’ detected in France

A new Covid-19 variant detected in southern France is worrying scientists.

According to Wales Online's report, scientists and experts in France have reportedly identified a new variant of Covid-19 termed "IHU". The new variant is said to be a more mutated strain than Omicron.

Twelve patients in the region have so far tested positive for the strain, which showed an "atypical combination", reports the Express.

The index case had returned from travelling to Cameroon, suggesting it may have originated in the African country.

In a preprint paper that is yet to be peer-reviewed, experts from a French government-backed programme said they had identified "46 mutations" in the variant.

The variant has been given the name B.1.640.2 and was first detected by experts at the IHU Mediterranee Infection in Marseille.

The new variant in Covid-19 patients from Forcalquier, in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence region, was announced last month.

While new variants are discovered all the time, it does not necessarily mean they will be more dangerous than Delta or Alpha.

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, like Omicron.

In the new preprint paper, dated December 29, scientists said: "SARS-CoV-2 variants have become a major virological, epidemiological and clinical concern, particularly with regard to the risk of escape from vaccine-induced immunity."

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