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New Heavily Mutated Variant ‘IHU’ Reported in France

Author: Hamna Bano
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While Omicron strain is still on the rise, a potentially worrying new variant ‘IHU’ has been discovered.

The virus has infected 12 people so far in France. In a paper published on medRxiv, the scientists claimed that the first case was connected to a person having a traveling history of Western Africa. This IHU variant has been declared an allegedly “atypical combination”.

 

According to the scientists at Marseille France, the new variant is said to have 46 mutations and 37 deletions. The first case detected had been vaccinated fully. His sample was collected and tested in mid-November 2021. He showed mild symptoms of respiratory congestion just a day before the diagnosis.

French Scientist at IHU Mediterranee Infection in Marseille said that “These observations show once again the unpredictability of the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants and their introduction from abroad, and they demonstrate the tribulation to control such introduction and succeeding  spread.”

The detection of the variant is conducted through the shortest route tests as of now. The polymerase chain reaction analysis is what it's called according to scientists. This is considered good news as the other genome sequencing takes a lot of time. It made the identification of the severity of the test quite difficult. The spread was also challenging to gauge the spread of the virus.

The study also clarifies that there is no clinical or virological research properly done on the variant as yet. Also, there have been no reports of the case from other countries. The SARS-CoV-2 variant has the nature of the mutation. It is yet to be discovered which class IHU falls in. It can be declared as a Variant of Concern (VoC) in two cases: If the cases prevail at a pace never seen before. And if it bypasses vaccine immune response.