WHO confirms new COVID-19 variant IHU, in France

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Another new COVID-19 variant has been detected by researchers at IHU Mediterranee Infection in France, according to early research published Dec. 29 on MedRxiv. The variant, B.1.640.2, is dubbed IHU after the facility where it was discovered on Dec. 10.

The variant carries the N501Y mutation, seen in the alpha variant, which experts believe can make it more transmissible. Research has also shown the variant carries the E484K mutation, which could mean it may be more resistant to vaccines.

Thou Experts were quick to clarify the discovery of a new variant does not necessarily indicateThe Independent reported.

The variant has been identified in 12 individuals thus far near Marseille, France, according to The Independent. The first case was linked to a fully vaccinated individual returning from a three-day trip to the African country of Cameroon.

According to the World Health Organisation official, the variant has been on the agency’s radar since November. But has not been a cause for concern, given its spread over the last two months.