ihu: WHO downplays threat from ‘IHU’ strain found in France – Times of India


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The WHO said a variant found in France hasn’t become much of a threat since it was first identified in November. The variant “has been on our radar,” Abdi Mahamud, a WHO incident manager on Covid, said on Tuesday. “That virus had a lot of chances to pick up.” The variant, under investigation, was identified in 12 people in the southern Alps around the same time that Omicron was discovered in South Africa last year. The latter mutation has since travelled the globe, unlike the French one that researchers at the IHU Mediterranee Infection – helmed by scientist Didier Raoult – nicknamed IHU.
The first patient identified with the strain was vaccinated and had just returned from Cameroon, IHU scientists wrote in a paper published on the medRxiv server in late December. It’s “too early to speculate on virological, epidemiological or clinical features of IHU variant based on these 12 cases,” they wrote in the article that is yet to be peer reviewed. Raoult had earlier stirred a row by recommending treatment with hydroxychloroquine.

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