France discovers new Covid-19 variant called IHU with 46 mutations

  • According to reports, scientists and researchers in France have discovered a new COVID-19 variant known as 'IHU'.
  • Nearly a dozen cases of this new variety have been discovered near Marseilles, with a link to Cameroon, Africa.
  • IHU Mediterranee Infection institute academics were the first to identify the IHU or B.1.640.2 variant, with 46 mutations, more than that of the Omicron variant.

While the world struggles to grapple with the Omicron variant, which is wreaking havoc due to its high rate of transmission, researchers and scientists in France have reportedly discovered a brand new variant of the coronavirus, called ‘IHU’, that is more mutated than the Omicron.

As per reports, the IHU variant is said to be even more infectious than Omicron. Academics from the IHU Mediterranee Infection institute were the first ones to identify the IHU variant, scientifically labelled B.1.640.2, containing 46 mutations.

Over 12 cases of the new variant have been reported around Marseilles, and is supposedly being linked to the African nation of Cameroon. Though, the Omicron strain still remains dominant in maximum parts of the world.

This new variant is said to be more harmful, but no cases have been recorded in nations other than France, and the World Health Organization is yet to classify it as a ‘variant under investigation’.

The strain supposedly contains the E484K mutation, which could also render it more resilient to vaccines, as per a paper published on the medRxiv portal.

Eric Feigl-Ding, a renowned epidemiologist tweeted that the mutations have caused the deletion of nine amino acids and substitution of fourteen amino acids, which are found in the spike protein.

Feigl-Ding further added that there are dozens of different variants found every day, but that does not mean they will be more deadly. Due to the obvious number of mutations it has as compared to the original virus, a variant's propensity to proliferate makes it more well-known and deadly.

Source credit: https://www.businessinsider.in/science/health/news/new-covid-19-variant-named-ihu-discovered-in-france-said-to-be-stronger-than-omicron/articleshow/88685048.cms