While governments across the world scramble to grapple with a surge in Omicron cases, a new variant named ‘IHU’ has been reported from France with 12 persons testing positive for the new variant.
Even as cases of Omicron, a Covid-19 “variant of concern” identified first in South Africa multiply quickly around the globe, another new Covid-19 variant is being reported from France which is believed to be much more infectious than Omicron. Scientists have named the new variant “IHU”.
What is IHU?
IHU or B.1.640.2 is reportedly a new Covid-18 variant discovered in France by researchers at the Institute IHU Mederranee Infection. According to reports, researchers have claimed that the new variant has 46 more mutations than Omicron, which had already spread like wildfire around the world. The findings, published in a paper, state, “Fourteen amino acid substitutions, including N501Y and E484K, and 9 deletions are located in the spike protein. This genotype pattern led to creating a new Pangolin lineage named B.1.640.2, which is a phylogenetic sister group to the old B.1.640 lineage renamed B.1.640.1”.
The researchers further wrote, “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.”