According to reports, a World Health Organization official said at a news briefing Tuesday that another COVID-19 type has infected a dozen people in France and is on the agency's radar.
According to Bloomberg, the "IHU" variant, named by researchers at the Mediterranee Infection University Hospital Institute (IHU) in Marseille, has infected people in the country's southern Alps region. A WHO incident manager, Abdi Mahamud, told researchers in Geneva that it's too early to "speculate on virological, epidemiological, or clinical aspects.
The report said the new variant was discovered in November, around the same time as omicron.
The IHU variation, also known as B.1.640.2, has 46 mutations, according to Bloomberg, although the strain has not been a serious danger since its discovery. According to a research published in December that was not peer-reviewed, the first patient identified with the variation returned to France after visiting Cameroon.
According to Newsweek, virologist Tom Peacock of Imperial College London tweeted on Monday that the 'IHU' variant is "definitely not one worth worrying about too much at the moment."
Countries around the world are struggling with the omicron variant, which has smashed daily case records this week.
Health experts agree that the best way to prevent hospitalization, serious illness and death from COVID-19 is by getting vaccinated and boosted.