It was Alpha, Beta, Delta, Gamma, Delta, Omicron, and now it is IHU.
IHU, the new COVID-19 variant, has been detected in France. Officials have found that the new variant infected 12 people living in an area near Marseilles, a port city in southern France, according to FOX 2 Detroit.
The officials found that IHU has 46 mutations, which is even more mutations than the highly contagious Omicron that has more than 30 mutations.
The IHU-related COVID cases have been linked to travel to the African country Cameroon. So far, the new strain has not been spotted in other nations.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has not labeled the new strain a variant under investigation, per the news outlet. It has not put any other strains on the list since it added Omicron in November 2021.
Omicron has been affecting most countries of the world, including the United States.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Tuesday that nearly all new cases last week were linked to Omicron. The highly transmissible Omicron variant has quickly overtaken Delta, sparking new surges nationwide.
“The omicron variant, also known as B.1.1.529, was detected in approximately 95.4% of all new cases for the week of December 26 – January 1,” the CDC estimates.
The WHO said IHU has not become much of a threat since it was first identified.
Dr. Abdi Mahamud, WHO Incident Manager on COVID, said Tuesday the variant “has been on our radar. That virus had a lot of chances to pick up.”
A paper published on medRxiv said that the latest strain carries the E484K and N501Y mutations, which can make it more resistant to vaccines and can make it more transmissible. However, it is unclear whether either of those things will happen with the IHU.
In the United States, new COVID-19 cases have tripled in the past two weeks to over 400,000 a day, according to FOX 2. The high infection rates and worker shortages have been taking a toll on large- and small-scale employers. Many companies have postponed return-to-work plans, while most airline flights have been canceled in recent days.