COVID continues to make its rounds. After the announcement of the latest two variants Delta and Omicron (Omarion, if you will), a new variant has been found in France. According to reports a new variant named “IHU," appears to have 46 mutations. The new variant is believed to be more infectious than the Omicron, despite the surge of new cases. 

Reports claim the new variant was discovered in France through a traveler who had spent three days in Cameroon. “The person infected with the B.1.640.2 variant, dubbed IHU discovered by scientists at the IHU Mediterranee Infection, was fully vaccinated and had just returned from a three-day trip to Cameroon when they tested positive,” the report also included.

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While researchers aren’t prepared to ring the panic alarm, Omicron is still a reason for concern. Announced over a month ago, the latest variant has caused a huge surge in hospitalizations, closures due to staffing issues, and long testing lines. The vaccine and booster are believed to curb severe symptoms but do not actively prevent transmission of the virus. 

In the U.S, cases have surpassed more than 100,000 and continue to rise with almost half a million new cases reported. During a statement, President Joe Biden encouraged the need for vaccination, “and if you’re unvaccinated, you have some reason to be alarmed. Many of you will experience severe illness if you get COVID-19 if you’re not vaccinated. Some will die - needlessly die.”

At this time, there are no plans for state-wide shutdowns but people are encouraged to take the necessary precautions to avoid exposure. 

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