WHO says Covid variant of interest Mu variant : All you need to know

A risk assessment of the mu variant, released by Public Health England (PHE) in August, suggested that the variant is at least as resistant as the beta version to vaccination-induced immunity.

WHO says Covid variant of interest Mu variant : All you need to know
Mu variant

A newer COVID-19 variant, called Mu or B.1.621, is being closely monitored by the World Health Organization (WHO) as it shows signs of potential resistance to vaccines.

Why was it added to the WHO watchlist?

The new variant was added to the WHO watch list on 30 August after the world health body said it was detected in 39 countries and found a "constellation of mutations that indicate potential avoidance of immunity".

Although the global prevalence of the mu variant in sequenced COVID-19 cases is currently less than 0.1%, its prevalence has steadily increased in Colombia (39%) and Ecuador (13%), it said.

The fifth edition of interest, which has been monitored by the WHO since March, has several mutations in B.1.621 that suggest it may be more resistant to vaccines, the WHO warned, but said further research was needed to confirm this. will be required. "More studies are needed to understand these types of phenotypic and clinical features," the world health body said.

Where was the variant first discovered?

Now a type of interest, it was first identified in Colombia in January 2021, and since then, there have been "sporadic reports" of cases and some large ones in South America and Europe, the UN health agency said in its weekly bulletin on Tuesday. There have been outbreaks. .

As of 29 August, more than 4,500 sequences (3,794 B.1.621 sequences and 856 B.1.621.1 sequences), genome sequences, and virus samples taken from patients analyzed in the past four weeks have been designated as Mu. . Most of these have been reported in the Americas (2,065) and Colombia (852), Mexico (357) and Spain (473).

A risk assessment of the mu variant, released by Public Health England (PHE) in August, suggested that the variant is at least as resistant as the beta version to vaccination-induced immunity.

A WHO report said preliminary data suggests that Mu may be able to evade antibodies generated by both pre-infection and coronavirus vaccines, similar to "seen for the beta version", although this finding has been confirmed. should be done in further studies.

"Currently, there is no evidence that the VUI-21JUL-01 is outnumbering the delta variant and it does not appear to be more passable," the report quoted him as saying. However, immune evasion may contribute to future changes in evolution. The risk posed by the MU variant depends on whether the cases increase substantially in the coming weeks and months, the report said.

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