IHU variant of COVID-19 not a ’cause of concern’, say study

IHU variant of COVID-19 not a ’cause of concern’, say study

Reported By:DNA Web Team| Edited By: DNA Web Team |Source: DNA Web Desk |Updated: Jan 08, 2022, 01:48 PM IST

Amid Omicron outbreak, one good news is that the new IHU variant of the COVID-19 is not spreading far enough to be one of the major concerns, a new study has found. The study which is yet to be peer-reviewed, has been published on MedRxiv. IHU variant of the COVID-19 was first discovered in France in late December.

The study in the behaviour of the new strain is still in a very early stage and nothing can be said with conviction. However, till now researchers have found very little to raise concern. The researchers wrote, “It is still early to speculate on the IHU variants as the number of cases is extremely low.”

The research paper falls in line with other expert advice about the new variant. Earlier, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Wednesday that the new IHU variant is not one of concern yet as it has been spreading through France for some time.

Who was the first person to be infected with IHU

A French traveller returning from Africa had tested positive for the IHU variant of the COVID-19 virus in November.

Researchers said the traveller was an adult man previously vaccinated against COVID-19 who had returned from Cameroon.

The traveller was tested of the virus in mid-November of 2021 after developing mild respiratory symptoms.

What we know about IHU variant

The new variant was named B.1.640.2, but scientists have nicknamed it IHU.

While the variant was detected before Omicron, the study was only made public this month.

The IHU variant has 46 mutations and 37 deletions in its genetic code, more than Omicron.

Many of these affect the spike protein. IHU variant has been classified as B.1.640.2.

Because of high mutations IHU may be more infectious and resistant to vaccine protection.

The variant is a sub-lineage of the B.1.640 and its discovery was announced by researchers from Méditerranée Infection in Marseille.


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