The UK is reportedly ‘monitoring’ a Covid variant that was first detected in France. The variant has up to 46 mutations.
According to The Express, the variant named IHU or B.1.640.2 has already made its way into the UK. The authorities are said to be monitoring “a small number of cases” in the UK. The variant has been concerning scientists since it appeared in France. At the moment the variant is not considered to be “of concern” like the omicron variant.
Speaking to The Express the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) explained: “We are aware of a small number of cases of B.1.640 in the UK and have been monitoring this particular variant specifically since late October.
“As it is in the nature of viruses to mutate often and at random, it is not unusual for small numbers of cases to arise featuring new sets of mutations.
“At the present time, it has not been designated a Variant Under Investigation or a Variant of Concern.
“UKHSA is monitoring the domestic and international situation closely through our world-leading genomic surveillance.”
Scientists believe that the variant discovered in France originated in Cameroon.
Taking to Twitter Dr Eric Feigl-Ding commented: “There are scores of new variants discovered all the time, but it does not necessarily mean they will be more dangerous.
“What makes a variant more well-known and dangerous is its ability to multiply because of the number of mutations it has in relation to the original virus.
“This is when it becomes a ‘variant of concern’ – like Omicron, which is more contagious and more past immunity evasive.
“It remains to be seen in which category this new variant will fall.”
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