Social Sector

After Delta & Omicron, now France discovers a stronger variant -‘IHU’

IHU Variant

Amid a surge in Covid cases throughout the world, France has now identified a new variant- ‘IHU’ that is stronger and much more mutated than the Delta and Omicron variant. The new variant seems to have 46 new mutations and 37 deletions.

After Delta and Omicron, France has now identified a new and a much stronger and more mutated variant of COVID-19 which is being termed as B.1.640.2 or ‘IHU’. The scientist in the French Republic have linked the new variant to Cameroon and the first case was detected on December 10.  The new variant is also believed to have 46 new mutations and 37 deletions. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has still not labeled it as a variant under research. As of now, at least 12 cases of the new ‘IHU’ variant have been reported near Marseilles. 

The tests have shown the strain carries the N501Y mutation that was first seen on the Alpha variant and the experts believe that it can be more transmissible. The scientist also believes that it also carries the E484K mutation, which could mean that the IHU variant will be more resistant to vaccines. Notably, mutations in the new ‘IHU’ variant have caused 14 amino acid substitutes and 9 amino acid deletions in the virus’ spike protein. Currently, the new B.1.640.2 variant has not been spotted in other countries but the worry continues as the threat from Omicron still remains.

As of now, the Omicron variant still remains the dominant coronavirus variant in France and adjoining European countries like the United Kingdom and Portugal with surging case numbers over the past few days. France’s public health agency had recently said that “62.4 percent of tests showed a profile compatible with the Omicron variant”.

Continue Reading on The India Saga.

By TIS Staffer
the authorBy TIS Staffer

Leave a Reply