French COVID Variant Makes an Appearance


Chinwe Onwere

Famous for its baguettes, cheese, and famous landmarks, France is the destination for lovers, foodies, and travelers alike. However, visiting France during this time might not be ideal with the novel French COVID variant discovered by scientists at the IHU Mediterranee Infection in Marseille.

According to French scientists, there are currently more than 46 mutations of the variant, nine of which are located on the spikes of the protein. The new variant, “IHU”, is named after the hospital in which it was first located, however it has not been found to be as contagious or infectious as the Omicron variant which is currently on the spread across the globe. According to officials, it has infected twelve individuals in Marseille, France. The first case of IHU was said to be found in a fully vaccinated traveler who returned from a three-day trip in Cameroon.

Luckily, the “IHU” variant has not posed the same infectiousness as previous and ongoing variants, such as the Omicron and Delta. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that this variant shouldn’t press as much concern. Abdi Muhammad, COVID-19 manager of WHO told reporters that “while the IHU variant is ‘on our radar,’ it remains confined in Marseille and has not been labeled a ‘variant of concern’, as stated by the U.N. Health Agency.”

As COVID cases spike both in the United States and across the world, masks and vaccines have begun to become more enforced. It seems that the battle against COVID has gone on for centuries, and our lives continue in a cycle that has had no end. The pandemic has defined our daily lives collectively as a culture. For two years, we have had to deal with the fears, lockdowns, and regulations that have come from COVID-19 and all its mutations. For two years, we have had to miss out on the pivotal experiences that come with teenagerhood and youth. For two years, we have dealt with reading the staggering numbers of deaths and infections across our world. Yet, there seems like there is no end in sight.

It is clear that the journey to end COVID is a long and difficult process, one that we have seen and will continue to see.