Covid Variant More Powerful Than Omicron, Delta Found In This Country; 12 Cases Reported
While we are still struggling to keep the COVID-19 and Omicron variants under control, another variant has showed its ugly head in France.
Scientists and experts in France have now discovered a new variant of COVID-19, which is now called as ‘IHU’.
12 cases of this variant have already been reported near Marseilles.
New And More Dangerous COVID Variant Detected?
Reportedly, this new variant has been linked to the African country Cameroon and was first identified by the academics at the institute IHU Mediterranee Infection.
The IHU variant is also known as the B.1.640.2 and contains 46 mutations, which is comparatively more than that of Omicron. However, this variant has not been labelled as ‘variant under investigation’ by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
As per the scientists, “We indeed have several cases of this new variant in the Marseilles geographical area. We named it ‘variant IHU’. Two new genomes have just been submitted.”
A paper has been posted on medRxiv, where the strain carries E484K mutation, making it more resistant to vaccines. It also has the N501Y mutation, which was first seen on the Alpha variant. As per experts, the latter can make it more transmissible.
Unpredictability Of The COVID-19 Variant
Scientists have stated, “These observations show once again the unpredictability of the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants and their introduction from abroad. And they exemplify the difficulty to control such introduction and subsequent spread.”
We recently shared that researchers at the University of Hong Kong found that while the frequency of replication of Omicron was faster, over 70 times compared to delta variant or the normal Covid variant in a human lung tissue, the replication rate of Omicron in the said tissue was witnessed to be over 10 times lower than that of the original strain.
Additionally, cities like Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai have contributed to 75% of daily infections of the Omicron variant, stated Dr NK Arora, the Chairman of the National Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation.
There are currently 1,700 cases of the Omicron variant in the country, with 510 reported only in Maharashtra, adds an NDTV report.