The new COVID-19 variant IHU was discovered before Omicron. It has not spread widely, and so researchers say it is not of significant concern.
On January 6, 2022, Healthline reported that experts emphasized that IHU was detected before the Omicron. "For anyone interested, the first upload of B.1.640.2 onto GISAID was on November 4, 2021, from Paris by Roquebert, et al.," wrote Tom Peacock, Ph.D., a virologist at Imperial College in London, on social media. He pointed out that information about Omicron was first made public on November 22, over three weeks later.
Furthermore, the Healthline report states that during a press conference on January 4, 2022, Abdi Mahamud, incident manager for WHO, said that the IHU variant had a lot of possibilities to pick up over the previous two months. He added that WHO is monitoring this variant but insists that there is no reason to be concerned just yet.
The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.