Get ready for another excuse for never-ending lockdowns. Another new covid variant with 46 mutations has been found in France.
The new covid strain, B.1.640.2, which was detected in 12 patients living in the part of southeastern France, was announced in a paper posted on medRxiv. Scientists say it was first discovered in a patient who had returned to France from Cameroon.
Researchers say B.1.640.2 contains 46 mutations, more than the omicron variant, making it more resistant to vaccines and more infectious.
RT reports: The strain is related to the B.1.640 lineage, which was classified as a variant under monitoring (VUM) by the World Health Organization (WHO) in November.
The first known patient was a vaccinated adult who returned to a French village from a trip to Cameroon and exhibited mild respiratory symptoms the day before the diagnosis.
Genome analysis revealed that the virus of this particular strain has 46 mutations, the researcher said. “It is too early to speculate on virological, epidemiological or clinical features of this… variant based on these 12 cases,” they wrote.
“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.”
Scientists around the world have been on high alert for new mutations of the coronavirus because they could produce variants that are more contagious and vaccine-resistant.