New Coronavirus Variant IHU Reported In Southern France, Reportedly Has 46 Mutations. New Year, New Me-ss!
It’s not even been a week into 2022 and we already have grim news coming in. What am I talking about? Well, first it was the onset of Flurona, a hybrid of influenza and coronavirus. And now we have IHU, a new coronavirus variant that was discovered in France. As though the infamous Omicron was not enough, we now have IHU instilling fear in Southern France. Research on this new coronavirus variant shows that this strain of Covid-19 causing virus has 46 mutations!
Yep, IHU the B.1.640.2 variant was first reported by researchers at institute IHU Mediterranee Infection. They have found this variant in at least 12 cases so far and have also linked it to travel to Cameroon, an African country.
The researchers who discovered IHU said that it is too early to know this particular variant of coronavirus behaves with regards to infection and protection from vaccines. The study that is yet to be peer-reviewed was posted on MedRxiv, and it revealed that IHU has 46 mutations and 37 deletions resulting in 30 amino acid substitutions and 12 deletions.
The authors of the study regarding the new coronavirus variant said, “The mutation set and phylogenetic position of the genomes obtained here indicate based on our previous definition a new variant we named IHU… These data are another example of the unpredictability of the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants, and of their introduction in a given geographical area from abroad.”
As per reports, IHU has not been discovered in other countries and is also not labelled as a coronavirus variant by the World Health Organization (WHO). According to the research, the first case was of an adult who was tested positive by RTPCR performed in a laboratory.
Also Read: WHO Chief Scientist Dr. Soumya Swaminathan Says Covid-19 Variant Omicron Is A Global Threat
Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist, posted a long Twitter thread where he mentioned that new coronavirus variants like IHU will continue to emerge but may not necessarily be dangerous. He tweeted, “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… this is when it becomes a “variant of concern” – like Omicron, which is more contagious and more past immunity evasive. It remains to be seen in which category this new variant will fall.”
While we were still recovering from the onset of Omicron and rising Covid-19 cases, now we have a new variant to fear. Honestly, I’m just hoping that we figure this out soon, till then please take the necessary precautions and stay safe.