Yet another variant of COVID-19 has reportedly been discovered, this time by scientists in France.

Daily Mail reported that this strain was discovered by researchers at IHU Mediterranee Infection on December 10. This strain has 46 mutations that are believed to be resistant against the COVID-19 jabs, and they are thought to be even more infectious than the original virus. Twelve cases have been discovered so far near the French city of Marseille, with the first one being linked to travel to the African country of Cameroon.

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“We indeed have several cases of this new variant in the Marseille geographical area,” said Philippe Colson, who leads the group of researchers that found the strain. “We named it ‘variant IHU.'”

Dubbed B.1.640.2, this strain reportedly carries the E484K mutation, which experts think makes it more resistant to shots. The strain is a distant relative of the Omicron variant that is currently surging around the world.

“These observations show once again the unpredictability of the emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants and their introduction from abroad,” the scientists who found the strain said. “And they exemplify the difficulty to control such introduction and subsequent spread.”

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Experts are advising people to be cautious before panicking over this new variant, as they say that while new variants will emerge during a pandemic, not all of them will be dangerous.

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“There are scores of new variants discovered all the time, but it does not necessarily mean they will be more dangerous. What makes a variant more well-known and dangerous is its ability to multiply because of the number of mutations it has in relation to the original virus,” said epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding.

“I doubt it will win over Omicron [5-6x faster than Delta] or Delta [which is 2x faster than original],” he added of this new variant.

This comes as cases of the Omicron variant are surging around the world. While cases are going up, even Democrats are admitting that this variant is not making people severely ill, according to Fox5.

“This is not the first strain of COVD-19, it is not the delta variant. People are testing positive — which is a much higher rate — but the severity of the illness is far less than we’ve seen before,” said New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D). “We have enough data to say right now, we can say with certainty, that the cases are not presenting themselves as severely as they could have or we had feared. So that is the silver lining, if you will.”

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