MARSEILLE: A new coronavirus variant B.1.640.2 also known as IHU variant has been detected in a traveller returning from Cameroon, announced the hospital IHU Mediterrannee in Marseille, France.
The traveller has reportedly infected 12 people in Southern France.
According to the hospital, the IHU variant was detected in early December. This new mutant has 46 mutations in an "atypical combination," according to a preprint study that has not yet been peer-reviewed, reported DW News.
Due to the unavailability of data and a small number of cases nothing can be yet confirmed about the nature of the variant and the danger it poses. At the same time, nothing can be yet confirmed about the origin of this new variant.
Two already known spike protein mutations N501Y and E484K are also found in the new coronavirus variant. N501Y mutation was detected in the alpha variant and it spreads easily in the body. The other mutation E484K is one of the escape mutations and thus possibly reduces the efficacy of the COVID vaccines, according to the study.
It is understood that vaccination can protect us, curb the spread and also help to stop further mutation of the already present variants. Cameroon, only 2.4% of the population is fully vaccinated, according to data from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in the United States, reported DW News.
Earlier, Israel recorded the first case of "florona" disease, a double infection of COVID-19 and influenza, said Arab News.