IHU COVID-19 variant not a threat at this time, says gov’t expert
MANILA, Philippines — The IHU COVID-19 variant is neither a threat nor a concern at this time, said Dr. Edsel Salvana, member of the Department of Health-Technical Advisory Group, in a taped briefing with President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday.
Salvana said the IHU variant is not yet even an official variant of concern or even a variant of interest, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
“WHO has already been monitoring this since November of last year. Ito po ‘yung lineage na B.1.640.2, At so far, marami po siyang mutations pero wala naman siyang pinapakita na survival advantage or immune deviation na nakikita natin sa Delta o sa Omicron,” he said.
(WHO has already been monitoring this since November of last year. This is the lineage B.1.640.2, and so far, it has many mutations but it does not show the survival advantage or immune deviation that we see in Delta or Omicron.)
“It’s a variant that is being monitored but it is not yet as concerning as Omicron or Delta or even the other ones po ‘yung Alpha Beta at Gamma,” he added.
He then reiterated that mutations do not always mean increased infectivity or vaccine deviation.
“So ang (the) conclusion po ng (of the) WHO is that IHU is not a threat this time,” Salvana said.
(So the conclusion of the WHO is that IHU is not a threat this time.)
IHU is derived from the name of an institute in southeast France — IHU Méditerranée Infection, in Marseille — which described this particular lineage of the virus.
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