2 Sept 2021
WHO Observing New COVID Variant Called ‘MU’
The Index Today
The World Health Organization announced that they are currently monitoring a new coronavirus variant called “mu,” it is reported that this new variant has mutations that can avoid immunity provided by a person who was previously infected by the COVID-19 or a person who is fully vaccinated.
The international health organization said that the “mu” variant also known by scientists as B.1.621 was added to the list of WHO invariants “of interest” before the month of August ends.
WHO added in the report that Mu “have sequences of mutations that indicate potential properties of immune escape.”
“Preliminary data presented to the Virus Evolution Working Group show a reduction in neutralization capacity of convalescent and vaccine sera similar to that seen for the Beta variant, but this needs to be confirmed by further studies,” it added.
Currently, the agency is now monitoring four variants “of concern,” including delta, which was first detected in India; alpha first detected in the U.K.; beta, first detected in South Africa, and gamma, first detected in Brazil. These variants on their list of interest are defined as a mutated strain that’s either more contagious, more deadly, or more resistant to current vaccines and treatments.
It’s also keeping a close watch on four other variants of interest including lambda, first identified in Peru; which has caused outbreaks in multiple countries and has seen to have genetic changes that are more dangerous than other strains.
According to the WHO, the new variant, mu was first identified in Colombia but has since been confirmed in at least 39 countries. Right now the global prevalence of the variant among sequenced cases has declined and is currently below 0.1%, its prevalence in Colombia and Ecuador has consistently increased, the agency warned.
The WHO said more studies are required to understand the clinical characteristics of this new variant.