A new variant of coronavirus has just been discovered in France; the variant was identified as B.1.640.2 and dubbed the IHU variant, and since has infected about 12 persons so far in France. According to a research journal published by French scientists of the Méditerranée infectious University Hospital Institute (IHU) France claimed the index case was first linked to a person who has a travel history to the Cameroun Republic. The statement reads, “The index case was an adult first diagnosed as infected with SARS-CoV-2 by real-time reverse transcription PCR (qPCR) performed in a private medical biology laboratory on a nasopharyngeal sample collected mid-November 2021,”
It explained that “He was vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 and returned from travel to Cameroon three days before. He developed mild respiratory symptoms the day before diagnosis. He lives in a small town of Southeastern France.”
Describing the strain, it says the variant carries mutation making it capable to resist the vaccine and transmissible to other hosts.
The experts say the variant has 46 mutations, explaining the data gives “another example of the unpredictability of the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants, and of their introduction in a given geographical area from abroad”.
Though, it was revealed the research is yet to be peer-reviewed, meaning it has not been accepted by the world of professionals in that field.
Another thing is that the strain is yet to be detected in another country says the World Health Organisation (WHO) and therefore is yet to be added to a strain list available.
While reacting to news of the variant during a media briefing on Tuesday, Abdi Mahamud, a WHO incident manager, revealed the new variant hasn’t become much of a threat since it was first identified in November.
Mahamud explained the variant “has been on our radar”, adding that the “virus had a lot of chances to pick up”.
As of November 2021, the global health expert has identified seven major COVID variants as; Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Omicron, Lambda, and Mu.
Though, Omicron labeled as the ‘variant of concern” was detected in South Africa by experts last year November.
Meanwhile, Delta and Omicron variants are both linked to high infection rates across the world.