THERE WAS ANOTHER VARIANT THAT CAME EVEN BEFORE OMICRON– The New Covid Variant IHU!
The emergence of newly mutated viruses is causing havoc all around the world. While the world is still struggling with Delta and Omicron variants, here comes another variant “IHU”. Around November 2021, there was another variant that came even before omicron- IHU.
This new variant has been named “variant IHU” as it was first reported at the IHU Mediterranean infection institute in South Africa. Based on 12 cases infected by this variant, researchers from the IHU institute wrote about the needed attention for its atypical mutations. They also suggested that while it’s too early to declare or conclude about its virological, epidemiological, or clinical features but because of its atypical mutations, this virus has a lot of chances to speed up infection rates.
What do we know about this new covid variant IHU?
Researchers all around the globe are working hard for every new mutation and till now IHU or B.1.640.2 has been detected in 12 people in France (Marseilles region). France is experiencing a heavy load of covid-19 positive cases at present and they have discovered one atypical mutated variant -IHU.
IHU contains more mutations than omicron and the number is “46”. Apart from gaining new mutations it also has 37 gene deletions in its DNA structure.
One rumor is that IHU stands for “I hate you”, no it’s not true, and although WHO has not declared it a “variant of concern” by now, but this variant is “on the radar”.
Mutations (hyperlink omicron mutation paragraph) can make a virus weaker or stronger but we need to wait to see how this IHU variant behaves. Till now around dozens of cases have been reported in France and no other incidence from other parts of the world.
Why is it important to focus on this new covid variant IHU?
Spike protein is the tentacle of coronavirus that you see in photos, and this is the part through which this virus attaches to a cell to infect it. That is the reason why the majority of vaccine-producing companies used the principle of teaching your body to identify spike protein by vaccination so that your body can recognize it when actual live coronavirus hits you. But, as there are spike protein mutations in this variant it’s possible that your immune system might not recognize it even when you are vaccinated.
So what does this means? Should you be scared of this new virus too? Is this covid never going to end? will you never be able or allowed to take off the mask?, NO the answer is no because although it seems like a never-ending thing for now have faith that with time the severity will go down and our immunity will win over it like always.
Why omicron was given much attention even when there was another variant that came before it?
As mentioned earlier mutation can make a virus stronger or weaker. For omicron mutations turned out to be dangerous as its speed of infection is even more than twice of the delta variant. But IHU till now has not shown any of the two most important criteria for it to be called “variant of concern” which are speed of infection and severity of infection.
Till now it’s nowhere in the list of variants of concern or variants of interest as per WHO. They have not even put it as a variant under investigation, but a close watch and strict, undeviating conformity to CAB (covid appropriate behavior) will save us all.