NewsNew Corona variant B.1.640.2 from Cameroon discovered in France

New Corona variant B.1.640.2 from Cameroon discovered in France

While Omikron Germany is busy, the next corona ghost is knocking on the door. A new Corona mutant from Cameroon has appeared in France.

Marseille – First Delta, now Omikron – is the next Corona mutant already making its way in Europe? In any case, there seems to be this message from France. According to media reports, a new Corona variant has been detected there that was not previously known or occurred in Europe. The classification of the new Corona mutant is B.1.640.2 and has not yet had a “sonorous” name like the other Corona variants.

New Corona mutant in France: “Atypical mutation combination” – person returned from southern France with B.1.640.2 after a stay in Cameroon

According to the experts at IHU Mediterranee Infection in Marseille, not much is known about B.1.640.2. Apparently, according to media reports, including t-online.de, merkur.de and tagesspiegel.de, a person from southern France returned with the new Corona variant B.1.640.2 after a stay in Cameroon and therefore twelve other people have infected. According to the hydroforming experts, the tests showed an “atypical combination of mutations”.

According to data from the American Johns Hopkins Institute in Baltimore, the vaccination rate in Cameroon is currently around 2.4 percent. Countries with a high proportion of unvaccinated people or at least immunosuppressed people often allow the emergence of new mutations of the corona virus.

New corona mutant B.1.640.2 discovered in France: more mutations on the spike protein than omicron – new study not yet conclusive

While in Germany, according to the virologist Christian Drosten, “Omikron makes the rules” *, a new corona study dealt with the corona mutant B.1.640.2 as early as the end of December 2021. In the preprint study, which has not yet been checked by independent experts, the researchers say there are 46 mutations in the spike protein. This fact means that the new Corona variant has nine more mutations than Omicron, which counted 37 and, according to various Corona studies, could not protect even vaccinated people with booster vaccination permanently *.

Menschen tragen Schutzmasken und gehen am Trocadero in der Nähe des Eiffelturms spazieren. Als Reaktion auf steigende Corona-Infektionszahlen wird die Maskenpflicht in Paris ausgeweitet.

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Apparently, a new corona mutant was found in France, which is currently only called B.1.640.2.

However, due to the small number of proven cases and thus the small group in which the study on the corona variant B.1.640.2 * moves, the data are by no means conclusive.

Corona variant B.1.640.2: Mutations such as N501Y and E484K have been detected in the new mutant

According to the study, the already known mutations N501Y and E484K should also be found in the new Corona variant B.1.640.2. For example, N501Y has previously been detected in the alpha variant. One of the special features of N501Y is that it binds more strongly to human cells, making it easier for it to spread around the body.

Meanwhile, E484K is one of the so-called escape mutations. E484K is located directly in the spike protein. A circumstance that could possibly have a direct impact on the effectiveness of corona vaccines. Accordingly, it is possible that the new corona variant B.1.640.2 could be more contagious than the original virus SARS-CoV-2. However, so far this is only a guess, as research into the corona mutant and its infectiousness is still in its infancy. Likewise, no data on the spread or danger of the corona mutation are currently available.

Corona variant from Cameroon: German doctor gives an assessment of the corona mutant B.1.640.2

The German doctor Christoph Specht expressed himself similarly with his assessment of the new Corona variant from Cameroon in an interview with “RTL”. At this point in time, you couldn’t say anything about the new variant, the general practitioner told “RTL” about the corona mutant B.1.640.2. “Mutations are the order of the day. It is now more or less a matter of chance that this mutation was reported, because many more mutations are constantly emerging, of which one does not even notice. “

It is true that some of the detected mutations are known to negatively influence the immune response. But the physician Specht underlined on “RTL”: “How B.1.640.2 behaves in relation to the infection process, the spread and the vaccinations, everything is still completely unclear.”

In addition, Specht allowed himself to be carried away with an initial cautious forecast that gives reason to hope. He suspects that the new variant will have almost no meaning and could “disappear again quickly”. Nevertheless, this is only a forecast, since a final assessment of the corona variant B.1.640.2 is naturally not to be expected in this short period of time and due to the lack of data. For this, the results of further investigations have to be awaited.

New Corona variant in France: In addition to Omikron, another item on the agenda of the upcoming Corona summit?

The discovery of a new Corona variant is by no means a rarity and at the same time not directly worrying. In most cases, the mutant doesn’t even get through. Nevertheless, the message makes you sit up and take notice, especially with regard to the discovery in neighboring France and the upcoming Corona summit on Friday, January 7, 2022.

The news will attract a lot of attention in politics around Health Minister Karl Lauterbach, who had already announced possible new Corona rules * in advance. The SPD politician Lauterbach had recently made clear statements about a contamination of Omikron in society *.

Corona variant B.1.640.2 from Cameroon: Health Minister Karl Lauterbach expresses himself exclusively on the new Corona mutant in France

Health Minister Karl Lauterbach also gave his assessment of the new Corona variant B.1.640.2 from Cameroon. The SPD politician Lauterbach * initially expressed himself reluctantly to “merkur.de” exclusively. “We still don’t know enough to be able to say anything useful. But I’m already in contact with specialists. “

Nevertheless, it is clear that the Federal Minister of Health is taking the news about the newly discovered Corona variant in France seriously. What effects the Corona mutation will have on B.1.640.2 and whether the next Corona variant will call for new measures before the Omikron variant has even been contained cannot yet be foreseen. * Kreiszeitung.de, 24hamburg.de and merkur.de are offers from IPPEN.MEDIA.

++ Transparency notice: This article was updated on January 4th, 2022 ++

Rubriklistenbild: © Gao Jing/dpa

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