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Amid the increasing Omicron threat, which was the highest mutated and most dangerous Covid-19 variant so far, scientists in France have discovered a new variant, which shows more mutations than the Omicron variant. The scientists have named the new variant the “IHU B.1.640.2 variant”. 

The new variant has been discovered by the Academics at the Institute IHU Mediterranee Infections and Research. The institute has said that the new variant shows 46 mutations, which is more than the Omicron variant. They have further said that this variant is more resistant to the vaccine and more infectious. At least, 12 people have been found positive near Marseille. All of the infected people have a travel history from the African country Cameroon. 

However, Omicron is still the dominating variant across the world as none of the other countries has reported any case of the IHU B.1.640.2 variant. 

As quoted by HT, according to a paper posted on medRxiv, the genomes were acquired using next-generation sequencing using GridION devices from Oxford Nanopore Technologies. The research paper read, “Fourteen amino acid substitutions, including N501Y and E484K, and 9 deletions are located in the spike protein. This genotype pattern led to creating a new Pangolin lineage named B.1.640.2, which is a phylogenetic sister group to the old B.1.640 lineage renamed B.1.640.1”. 

Eric Feigl Ding, Epidemiologist & health economist, took Twitter and informed about this new variant via a long thread of tweets. He tweeted, “NEW VARIANT—French scientists have “rung the bell” after discovering a cluster of 12 cases of a variant of “atypical combination” with **46 mutations & 37 deletions** in southern France after index case returned from Cameroon—dubbed #B16402. #COVID19”

He further said that the new variant is “more dangerous” because of its ability to mutate. His tweet read, “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.”

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