The WHO identifies the Mu COVID-19 variant as of interest

The Mu variant contains “a number of mutations that indicate the potential properties of immune deprivation,” the WHO weekly update, released on August 31, noted.

All viruses, including SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, change over time, and most changes have little or no effect on the properties of the virus.

But certain mutations can change how easily the virus spreads, the severity of the disease it causes, or its resistance to vaccines and drugs.

The WHO variant of interest (VOI) suggests that the strain has genetic changes that may affect the characteristics of the virus, such as increased infectivity, disease severity, immune deficiency, diagnostic or therapeutic escape, reports The Straits Times.

VOIs have also been found to cause significant community spread or multiple Covid-19 clusters in several countries. Other WHO-designated VOIs include Eta, Iota, Kappa and Lambda.

The WHO also lists four worrying variants of the coronavirus (VOC): Delta, Alpha, Beta, and Gamma.

Mu was first identified in Colombia in January. Approximately 4,500 Mu variant cases have been reported worldwide, and more than half of them have been found in the United States. The issue has also been reported in other South American countries, Europe, Japan and Hong Kong, The Straits Times reported.

The variant was responsible for Colombia’s deadly third wave of infection in April-June. During this time, about 700 deaths a day, nearly two-thirds of the deaths from people tested positive for the Mu variant, Colombian health authority Marcela Mercado said on Sept. 2.

The Mu variant, already in more than 43 countries and regions, has shown high infectivity.

Preliminary data show that Mu can more easily avoid vaccine protection, similar to the beta variant found in South Africa, The Straits Times reports.

Source: ANI

# COVID-19

Source: The Nordic Page





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