WHO says it is monitoring a new Covid variant called ‘mu’
The World Health Organization is keeping an eye on a new coronavirus variation known as “mu,” which contains changes that might allow it to bypass protection conferred by a prior Covid-19 infection or vaccine, according to the WHO.
Mu, also known as B.1.621 by scientists, was added to the WHO’s list of variations “of interest” on Aug. 30, according to the WHO’s weekly Covid epidemiology report released late Tuesday.
Because the variation has genetic changes that suggest natural immunity, existing vaccinations and monoclonal antibody therapies may not be as effective against it as they are against the ancestral virus, according to the WHO.
More research is needed to determine whether the mu strain will prove to be more infectious, lethal, or resistant to present vaccinations and therapies.
In a study released Tuesday, the WHO stated that Mu “features a constellation of mutations that signal potential capabilities of immunological escape.”
“Preliminary findings reported to the Virus Evolution Working Group suggest a decline in neutralization capability of convalescent and vaccination sera equivalent to that observed with the Beta variant, but more research is needed to confirm this,” it said.
According to the WHO, the new variety, mu, was originally detected in Colombia and has now been verified in at least 39 countries. Although the global prevalence of the variation among sequenced cases has decreased to around 0.1 percent, it has continuously grown in Colombia and Ecuador, according to the agency.