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Omicron's spike protein with new mutations seen in red, blue, gold and black. Pic: Centre for Virus Research at the University of Glasgow

New variant of Covid-19 with 46 mutations detected in France, leaves scientists worried

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The variant, tentatively identified B.1.640.2, is believed to be Cameroonian in origin and have so far spread to 12 patients in southern France.

A new strain of the Coronavirus which is said to be worrying scientists has been discovered in France.

Originally thought to have come from Cameroon, the new strain has affected 12 people who travelled into southern France, where their positive test results have shown an ‘atypical combination’ of Covid.

It’s a new strain that has left some scientists concerned.

In a paper that reviewed the new strain at the end of last year, French experts say they have identified as many as 46 mutations in the variant compared to the original version of Covid-19.

Given the name B.1.640.2, the strain was first detected by experts at the IHU Mediterranee Infection in Marseille, reports the Express.

While some may find the news concerning, experts have also urged caution, saying that new variants are discovered all the time.

They add that each new strain does not necessarily mean they will be more dangerous than the Delta or Alpha variants of Covid-19, but they can spread much more quickly like Omicron can.

Despite this, scientists say concerns about any new variant remain.

“SARS-CoV-2 variants have become a major virological, epidemiological and clinical concern, particularly with regard to the risk of escape from vaccine-induced immunity,” they said in the 2021 paper.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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