Coronavirus Mu variant: The World Health Organization recently labelled a new coronavirus mutation named “Mu” as a variant of concern. The new variant is estimated to have first been identified in Colombia in January. Mu is known scientifically as B.1.621.
After the deadly Delta variant (B.1.617.2), the SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617 lineage that was identified in October 2020 in India, the WHO has now observed that the Mu variant has “a constellation of mutations that indicate potential properties of immune escape,” the bulletin reads. WHO said it doesn’t know how effective the vaccines will be against this new variant that may arise. The organisation also stressed that further studies were needed to better understand the mutation of “Mu”. The variant is suspected to lead to a deadly surge in COVID-19 cases in the coming days as a widespread concern over the emergence of new virus mutations looms. As per reports, infection are going up globally again. More here.
This new variant of interest could lead to severe illness, especially among the unvaccinated people, WHO warns. The organisation has also shared concern for the regions where anti-virus measures have been relaxed. Viruses constantly change through mutation and new variants of a virus, that arise from these mutations, are expected to influence how easily it spreads, the severity of the disease it causes, resistance to vaccines, drugs and other countermeasures.
The WHO currently identifies four COVID-19 variants of concern – including Alpha, which is present in 193 countries, and Delta, present in 170 countries. Five variants, including variant of interest Mu, are to be monitored. After Colombia, Mu has since been reported in other South American countries and in Europe. The global health body said its global prevalence has declined to below 0.1 percent among sequenced cases. In Colombia, however, it is at 39 percent.
Feature Image Credit: PTI
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