Friday, January 28, 2022

WHO : IHU Variant “Has Been On Our Radar”

The news about the new variant of the Covid-19 virus comes from France. The variant that has infected 12 French citizens and is given the name IHU variant, is thought to have come from Cameroon.

The appearance of this variant is actually almost at the same time as the Omicron variant. However, because there were no reports of new cases other than 12 French citizens, the WHO did not include it in the Varion of Interest.

WHO incident manager on Covid-19, Abdi Mahamud, said that the variant “Has been on our radar,”, and “That virus had a lot of chances to pick up.”

The variant that found by researchers at the IHU Mediterranee Infection Institute has fourteen amino acid substitutions. Thus include N501Y and E484K, and 9 deletions located in the spike protein. The IHU researchers believed that the N501Y mutation can make it more infectious, when the E484K mutation make this variant more vaccine-resistant than Omicron.

The virus genotype pattern led to creating a new Pangolin lineage named B.1.640.2. The vaccinated adult that attacked by this variant had moderate respiratory symptoms three days after returning.

A virologist at Imperial College London, Tom Peacock, tweeted on Monday that  it must be considered that the variant is not that new. On november 4, the first sequence was uploaded to the GISAID COVID sequence database, and it is only three weeks before the first Omicron sequence was uploaded.

Even so, there are no reports of the emergence of new cases due to this variant. it is even omicron that must be watched out for because of its rapid spread throughout the world. The appearance of this variant gives us the lesson that the novel SARS-CoV-2 variants are unpredictable and their introduction from abroad and subsequent spread.

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