Covid-19 ‘IHU’ variant: few occurrences, narrow geographic distribution

Covid-19 ‘IHU’ variant: few occurrences, narrow geographic distribution

It has been found largely in France so far, but has been found in other countries as well. B.1.640 is the IHU version of Covid-19. A total of 46 mutations, including some in the spike protein, were found in the variation.

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As the Omicron form of the coronavirus continues to infect significant numbers of individuals throughout the world, word of the development of another highly-mutated variant emerged quickly on Tuesday, raising fears of yet another wave of infections. B.1.640 is a variation that has primarily been found in France, although it has also been reported in a number of other nations. A total of 46 mutations, including some in the spike protein, were found in the variation.

A newer version of the B.1.640 isn’t a surprise. Three months have passed since it first appeared. A week-old study by researchers from Méditerranée Infection in Marseille, a part of France’s Instituts hospitalo-universitaires, sparked a flurry of interest in the topic (IHU, or University Hospital Institutes).

The first person to return from a trip to Cameroon and test positive for the new type was found in November of last year among a group of 12 people all residing in the same part of southern France. This new variety is quite similar to the one they previously discovered and designated IHU, according to the researchers.

B.1.640, the IHU variety mentioned by the researchers, was first detected in January of this year, according to global databases. The sub-lineage B.1.640.2 that was discovered in November by French researchers among humans has now been named.

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