IHU – New Covid Variant
- Author :
- TATA AIG Team
- Published on :
Keeping your body and mind healthy is always important. Throughout COVID-19 and the resultant lockdown, most people focused on their health and their family’s well-being. Moreover, many made major changes to their lives with respect to safety measures such as social distancing and the like. This is why, after new variants of COVID-19 were discovered, people are better educated on how to protect themselves, be it with safety precautions or life insurance.
The COVID variant IHU is the latest variant that has caused quite a stir in the research of Coronavirus. This variant was initially discovered before the Omicron variant but was considered to be less dangerous than Omicron.
The scientific name of IHU is B.1.640.2, and a lot of research is still being conducted to find out more about this variant. So far, only a few cases of B.1.640.2 have been discovered in France, with the first case affecting an adult male traveller from France.
Now, let us look into more information about the IHU virus and what you can do to prevent it from spreading.
What Should You Know About the COVID-19 IHU Variant?
From what has already been medically established, the COVID variant IHU was discovered in France, but many other countries have also reported some instances of the infection. This variant was named IHU after the IHU Méditerranée Infection, where the researchers first discovered and studied the strain. The World Health Organisation (WHO) is currently investigating how potent this variant may be.
However, to understand the IHU variant better, here is what you need to know.
The IHU variant symptoms were reported to have caused mild respiratory issues in the first patient. However, one cannot be sure that respiratory issues are one of the main symptoms of this variant.
As per medical research, there are 46 mutations and 37 deletions in the IHU virus, which are linked to the virus's genetic code. Therefore, this variant is quite different from the first Coronavirus variant as well as Delta and Omicron.
It should be noted that the spike protein, or the life source of the virus itself, comprises 23 mutations. The spike protein is responsible for attacking the healthy cell and infecting it.
Each deletion and mutation can determine how the character of the IHU virus will change, how effectively it can be transmitted and how severe the symptoms will be.
Hence, whenever any vaccine is designed, it is meant to destroy the spike protein of the virus. If the IHU variant gets a vaccine, this measure may help reduce the strain of the virus.
However, there is always a small chance of the vaccine missing some of the mutations. This can result in the strain of the virus becoming weak but not completely eliminated.
To understand this better, the Omicron variant comprises 50 mutations; out of these 50, 30 are located on the spike proteins.
Since the IHU variant symptoms are still being researched, there are no clear conclusions on how the mutations will interact with one another and how they will continue to react when they come in contact with a host.
Precautions to be Taken Against the IHU Variant
As we already know, the IHU virus and its symptoms are still being researched. Therefore, the only precautions you can take against the spread of this virus are the same ones recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO). To be sure, these are the necessary precautions you can take to ensure that the IHU virus does not infect you:
- Get vaccinated: Most people got both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine when they were released during the pandemic and lockdown. However, booster doses were also introduced later on to ensure that people could continue to resist other variants of the Coronavirus. Remember, opt for the booster dose to secure your health.
- Wear your mask properly: This is the most common preventative measure you can take. Simply carry and wear your mask over your mouth and your nose whenever you go outside your house or want to meet someone. Use a disposable mask if possible; however, if you cannot, ensure that your mask is always clean.
- Avoid closed/crowded spaces: Instead of sitting in a closed air-conditioned room with several people, open a window to allow cross-ventilation. In case that is not possible, you can keep your mask on or try waiting outside the room. As far as possible, aim to avoid close contact with people.
- Wash your hands: While moving from one room to another at home or when travelling to work, it is likely that you will touch common surface areas like door knobs, handles, tables, etc. To ensure zero contamination, wash your hands occasionally with disinfecting liquid soap.
- Use a sanitiser: For most people commuting to work, accessing running water and soap may not always be possible. At such times, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser to ensure that you can always keep your hands clean. Keep the bottle closed properly to avoid dust from entering the container.
Understanding how the pandemic impacted our health and finances, having a health insurance policy has become essential. Your health insurance plan, be it one with COVID-19 coverage or a critical illness insurance policy, should be able to cover the pre-and-post-hospitalisation costs arising due to a Coronavirus infection.
When you have a Tata AIG health insurance policy, you can get extensive coverage for different critical ailments, diseases and infections that result in pre-and-post hospitalisation care. When you are suffering from any form of critical illness, your health insurance policy can cover the cost of the treatment and medication resulting from the critical health condition. This frees you and your family from the financial burden of arranging for adequate finances for the treatment.
The spread of this new COVID variant IHU should not be a very severe case for you and your loved ones if you know how to take the right precautions. Considering that all variants of COVID-19 infections can be curbed to a great extent through social distancing and sanitisation, the IHU variant can also be tackled similarly. However, if you suffer from severe and persistent symptoms, do visit your doctor immediately.
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