Discovery of a new highly mutated Covid strain — Action News Now

The new variant of Covid-19 was first discovered in a patient returning to France from Cameroon. Researchers say that it is too early to evaluate the characteristics of this variant.


Last week, a group of scientists stated in a preprint published online on medRxiv that the new strain B.1.640.2 was detected in 12 patients living in the same geographic area in southeastern France.

This strain is related to the B.1.640 lineage, which was classified as a variant under surveillance (VUM) by the World Health Organization (WHO) in November.


The first known patient was a vaccinated adult who had travelled from Cameroon and returned to a French village and showed mild respiratory symptoms the day before the diagnosis.

The researchers said that genome analysis revealed that this particular strain of the virus has 46 mutations. “It is too early to speculate on the virological, epidemiological or clinical characteristics of this…mutation based on these 12 cases,” They write.


“Overall, these observations once again show that the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants and the unpredictability of their introduction from abroad also proves the difficulty of controlling this introduction and subsequent spread.”


Scientists around the world have been highly vigilant about new mutations in the coronavirus because they may produce more infectious and vaccine-resistant mutations.

The emergence of the Omicron variant, which was classified as a variant of concern (VOC) by the WHO in November, prompted many countries to close their borders and tighten other pandemic-related restrictions.

“As this pandemic continues, new variants may evade our countermeasures and develop complete resistance to current vaccines or past infections, so vaccines need to be adjusted,” WHO Director-General Tan Desai issued a warning last week.


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