New highly mutated Covid strain discovered — Analysis

A patient from Cameroon who had returned to France with the new Covid-19 variant was the first person to discover it. Researchers said it’s too early to assess the variant’s features.

A team of scientists discovered the new strain B.1.640.2 in 12 people living in the same area in southern France. The preprint was published on medRxiv last Wednesday.

This strain can be related to B.1.640, which was classed as a variant under surveillance (VUM), by the World Health Organization in November.

First, a French adult who had been vaccinated was diagnosed with mild symptoms of the respiratory condition. He returned from Cameroon to his French village and showed no signs or symptoms. 

According to the researcher, genome analysis of the strain revealed 46 mutations. “It is too early to speculate on virological, epidemiological or clinical features of this… variant based on these 12 cases,”They also wrote.

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“Overall, these observations show once again the unpredictability of the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants and their introduction from abroad, and they exemplify the difficulty to control such introduction and subsequent spread.”

Because they might produce vaccine-resistant variants, scientists around the globe have been alerted to new coronavirus mutations.

Multiple countries responded to the Omicron virus by closing their borders and tightening other restrictions related to pandemics.

“As this pandemic drags on, it’s possible that new variants could evade our countermeasures and become fully resistant to current vaccines or past infection, necessitating vaccine adaptations,”Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (Director General of WHO) warned last week.

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