IHU: All You Need To Know About The New Variant Of Covid

IHU: All You Need To Know About The New Variant Of Covid

Now we have almost all the information about Covid 19, its effect on the body, how it spreads, what precautions we should take, what treatment to take, etc.

But this virus is here to surprise us every 5-7 months. Currently, Covid 19 surprised us with Omicron Variant. But there is another variant ‘IHU ‘ which is about to knock outdoors.

Almost all viruses do have a tendency to change automatically. This change is known as Antigenic DRIFT and SHIFT. The virus makes changes in its structure and proteins. This is also known as mutations. Mutations usually help viruses survive. Some mutations are very fetal while some mutations make the virus less lethal, less severe.

SARS COVID 19 virus has been identified to have many mutations. Till date the most lethal mutation was Delta. Currently, we are facing Omicron Variant. And in near future, we will face the IHU variant.


First of all, it is not originated in France but it is discovered in France. French scientists have isolated this variant from 12 patients having origin in Cameroon, Central Africa. The index case of this variant was traveled to Cameroon and after returning to France, he developed symptoms and hence tested. From the same community, 11 other symptomatic individuals have been found positive for this new variant IHU. This variant might be known as ‘Pi’ as in Greek, the Pi alphabet letter comes after Omicron.

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Since this variant is studied in only 12 patients, symptoms are not well aware. But common symptoms in all those 12 patients were fever, sore throat, weakness, body ache, coughing. None of them was having chest pain or wet cough or blood in sputum or breathing difficulty or low oxygen saturation. Fever is high grade and recurrent for initial 3-4 days. Fever can also be associated with chills, back pain, etc. But usually, this fever will be subsided by paracetamol or ibuprofen. So in general, you can say this variant is having Upper respiratory tract infection (URTI) like symptoms without involving lungs. Usually, recovery is seen after 7-10 days of symptom onset.

What WHO Says About The IHU Variant:

WHO (World Health Organization) is keep eye on IHU cases and its progress. The latest statement from WHO tells that this new variant is not threatening but they keep this IHU variant under the Radar. This new variant is having 46 mutations and 36 deletions.

How Threatening Is The New IHU Variant:

Since we are not having exact data, it is very difficult to say about the severity and case fatality. But till date, all 12 patients with the IHU variant have mild symptoms, URTI-like without any severe complications and death. Hence WHO also thinks that this IHU variant is not that lethal or life-threatening.

Treatment For The IHU Variant Of SARS COVID-19:

Since this new variant is causing URTI-like symptoms, treatment is basically symptomatic only. The patient needs to follow strict isolation guidelines. Multivitamins, antipyretics, cough supplements, hydration, a healthy high protein diet, etc are usual treatment protocols for this new variant. The patient is advised to measure oxygen saturation and temperature at least 3-4 times a day for 10 days. Usually, this variant does not require hospital or ICU admission, does not require oxygen support, and is usually recovered by home isolation and oral treatment.


As we all know, Prevention is better than cure. This goes true with this variant also. Preventive strategies include -

  1. Varying mask properly all the time when outside the home.
  2. Avoid unnecessary social gatherings.
  3. Avoid mall and multiplex visits (crowded places).
  4. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer for hand washing.
  5. Get yourself vaccinated whenever possible.

Since this variant is not found in any other patient, other than those 12 patients, it is very early to speculate virological, epidemiological, clinical symptoms, treatment, severity, mortality, etc.

Some researchers also mentioned that this new variant may go unnoticed under the threat of Delta and Omicron Variant. So only time will tell about IHU (Possible Pi) variant and its scare.