A new strain, IHU, is causing panic in France, just days after the World Health Organization (WHO) expressed optimism that the COVID-19 pandemic would be over by 2022.
Countries, health experts, and institutions are concerned about the “Variant IHU” or B. 1.640.2.
Twelve people have been infected near Marseille and are being treated in a hospital, with fears of more patients going undetected.
IHU has 46 mutations and is linked to travel to Nigeria’s neighbor, Cameroon. What’s worse, it’s becoming more resistant to existing vaccines.
However, the strain is not spreading as quickly as others. An investigation by the WHO is expected to begin soon.
According to reports, the variant may have entered the United Kingdom after being discovered by researchers at the Méditerranée Infection University Hospital Institute (IHU) in France.
IHU In December, Professor Philippe Colson, the head of the department that discovered the variant, shared his thoughts.
“In the Marseilles geographical area, we have several cases of this new variant. It was given the name ‘variant IHU’ by us. He wrote, “Two new genomes have just been submitted.”
The index case, according to the paper published in an online medical journal, was a fully vaccinated man who returned from a trip to Cameroon in November.
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Colson said that using qPCR to screen for variants revealed an unusual combination of L452R-negativity, E484K-positivity, and E484Q-negativity in the spike gene.
The result did not match the pattern of the Delta variant, which is found in almost all SARS-CoV-2 infections, according to the expert.