New Variant Discovered in France

A medical worker administers a nasal swab to a man at a testing point in Paris, France, December 31, 2021. (REUTERS/Christian Hartmann)

A new variant of the coronavirus has been identified in France, Fox News 5 reported.

Twelve cases were reported near the southern port city of Marseille.

Scientists are currently calling it the IHU variant, and say the variant has 46 mutations. The cases were connected to recent travel to the African county of Cameroon, though the strain has not been identified there.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has not identified IHU as a variant under investigation, something it did most recently in November 2021, when South African scientists identified the Omicron variant.

The Omicron mutation was labeled a variant of concern by the WHO for its increase in transmissibility. Other reasons for a mutation to be considered concerning would be if it decreased vaccine effectiveness or was more dangerous.

The Omicron strain is believed to be highly infectious but less virulent; cases are soaring throughout the United States, but hospitalizations and deaths are rising much less dramatically.