5 Jan 2022
IHU: New COVID-19 Variant with Multiple Mutations Discovered in France
The Index Today
A newly discovered variant of the coronavirus in France, nicknamed “IHU”, bearing 46 mutations has raised fresh fears and frustrations among the public in the wake of the Omicron.
First reported in a traveler coming from Cameroon to France, there have been a total of 12 cases of the IHU in the south-eastern part of the country, according to scientists at the IHU Méditerranée in Marseille. While the discovery was first reported in November, 2021, it made it to the headlines only recently. However, experts have allayed fears surrounding the new variant of COVID-19 that has been temporarily assigned the identification of B.1.640.2.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has responded to news of the latest variant, stating that the IHU is fairly innocuous and has not grown to become much of a concern given that the “virus had a lot of chances to pick up” since it was first detected late last year, according to WHO’s Abdi Mahamud.
The WHO has been at the forefront of the pandemic, constantly watching and screening for potential new coronavirus variants that it would declare a “variant of concern” if it proves to be a threat. The IHU, however, remains yet to be deemed as such, if ever.
©Photo: Japan Times