Why Is No One Talking about the New French COVID-19 Variant Known as B.1.640?

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The impact of COVID-19  on our day-to-day activities has been massive, and the consequences are still unfolding as new variants of the coronavirus now emerge due to mutation. The recent Delta variant has infected more than a million Americans already.

Just as we’re managing the surge of the Delta variant, here comes a brand new COVID-19 variant that has been identified in a few European countries. The French paper Le Telegramme reported the new variant known as B.1.640 after two dozen people got infected at a French school in the Brittany region in October.

Several cases have been discovered in Switzerland, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Scotland as well, although the Delta variant and its descendants are still the most dominant strains.

What Makes the B.1.640 Variant Different?

Upon examining the B.1.640 variant, health officials raised concerns because of the changes in the new coronavirus variant’s spike protein that hasn’t been seen before. The spike protein, which lets the virus attach to our cells and initiate the infection process, has some deletions. Now, the question is whether this will make the virus more or less infectious.

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Although there are no new cases found in France and the situation has been under control since the last week of October, the French Regional Health Agency said that the variant remains under surveillance.

Why Is There No More News about the French B.1.640 Variant Today?

The first reason is that Omicron is the dominant COVID-19 variant in the world right now. According to the data of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Omicron is more contagious than Delta. In fact, 73% of new cases in the United States were caused by Omicron.

Another reason is that the World Health Organization (WHO), the CDC, and the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) have not yet listed B.1.640 as a variant of concern (VOC) nor as a variant of interest (VOI).

Diagnostic Tests for the Omicron Variant

The good news regarding Omicron  is that it can be detected through polymerase chain reaction (PCR) diagnostics, which enable the tracking of its spread.

Dynamic Diagnostics US is a veteran-owned, Chicago-based testing company with over 50 testing locations all over the USA. We administer FREE Rapid and PCR tests for everybody, even without health insurance ready. You read that right: FREE.

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