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IHU variant has an ‘extremely low’ number of cases right now

A new study calmed fears about the new emerging IHU variant

SHARE IHU variant has an ‘extremely low’ number of cases right now
Photo of the coronavirus.

A photo of the virus that causes COVID-19. Some health officials say identifying the omicron variant of the coronavirus might be difficult. Fears about the new IHU variant seem premature, officials say.

NIAID-RML via Associated Press

A new study took a quick look at the new COVID-19 IHU variant emerging from France, but researchers found very little to raise a concern about the variant so far.

The study — published on medRxiv before peer-review — took a brief look into the new variant emerging out of France.

  • The researchers found that the variant has not been spreading far enough to be one of major concern.
  • “This study has described the emergence of a new SARS-CoV-2 variant and named it IHU,” the researchers said, per Medical News. “However, researchers stated that it is still early to speculate on the IHU variants as the number of cases is extremely low.”

The small research paper falls in line with other expert advice about the France variant. The World Health Organization said Wednesday that the new IHU variant — named by academics at the institute IHU Mediterranee Infection — is not one of concern yet as it has been spreading through France for some time.

  • “That virus has had a lot of chances to pick up,” Abdi Mahmud, a COVID-19 incident manager with the WHO, said Tuesday, according to The New York Times.

Indeed, I reported on the B.1.640 variant after there was an initial case in November.

  • The variant struggled to rise amid the delta variant wave, which was infecting so many people at the time that the French variant struggled to grow.