IHU variant detected in France, a new COVID strain with 46 mutations

Marseille in France

The French city of Marseille at night. Photo: F. Laffont-Feraud.

First it was alpha, then delta, then omicron – the most easily spread virus in history – and now, researchers at the University of Aix-Marseille have studied the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant with 46 mutations and 37 deletions called IHU.

According to researchers the new COVID-19 variant ‘IHU’ which has been detected in 12 patients near Marseille, is more infectious than Omicron.

A new study published in medRxiv looking at analyses of 12 covid-19-positive patients in Marseille (France) detected mutations that showed an “atypical” combination. According to the researchers, patient zero had recently returned from a trip to Cameroon.

The research revealed 46 mutations and 37 deletions, a specialized journal reports. “These data are another example of the unpredictability of the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants and their introduction into a given geographical area from abroad,” explain the authors of the study.

It has not yet been considered a variant of interest by the health authorities and they will continue to study its evolution closely.

-Thailand News (TN)

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