As the world struggles to combat the extremely infectious Omicron Covid-19 variant, scientists in France have detected a possibly disturbing new variant named IHU, which has 46 mutations.
According to the independent.co.uk the new IHU, B.1.640.2 variant has so far infected 12 people living in southeastern France.
Researchers have linked the first case of the new variant to a person with a travel history to Cameroon, western Africa.
However, experts were quick to announce that just because a new variant had been discovered, that did not necessarily mean IHU will prove as infectious as other strains, including Omicron.
In the analysis, the authors found “46 mutations” which had not been spotted in other countries, nor labelled a variant under investigation by the WHO.
The genomes were obtained by next-generation sequencing. The authors of the paper claimed that the person who was identified with the IHU variant, was fully-vaccinated. The person tested positive for covid-19 after returning from a three-day trip to Cameroon.
The authors of the research paper said “subsequent detection of three mutations in the spike gene to screen for variants did not correspond to the pattern of the Delta variant involved in almost all SARS-CoV-2 infections at that time.”
In a long Twitter thread, epidemiologist and a fellow at Federation of American Scientists, Eric Feigl-Ding said the new variant was being monitored to evaluate how infectious or dangerous it could prove to be.