The World Well being Organisation says it’s monitoring a brand new COVID-19 “variant of curiosity” named Mu (additionally recognized by its scientific title as B.1.621).
In its weekly epidemiological replace, revealed on Tuesday, WHO warned that the variant was turning into more and more prevalent in Colombia and Ecuador, displaying indicators of potential vaccine resistance.
Mu was first recognized in Colombia in January 2021, and since then, there had been “sporadic experiences” of instances and outbreaks in South America and Europe, WHO mentioned.
Whereas the worldwide prevalence of Mu amongst sequenced COVID-19 instances is under 0.1 per cent, its prevalence has persistently elevated in Colombia and Ecuador, the place it’s now accountable for round 39 per cent and 13 per cent of infections, respectively.
Studies on the variant’s prevalence needs to be interpreted with due consideration given to the low sequencing capability of most international locations, the company mentioned.
Mu is the fifth variant of curiosity to be monitored by the WHO since March.
The well being company warned that Mu had a number of mutations suggesting it could possibly be extra proof against vaccines, stressing additional analysis to verify the place.
Preliminary knowledge confirmed lowered effectiveness of vaccines “much like that seen for the Beta variant.”
The WHO defined that it might be monitoring “the epidemiology of the Mu variant in South America, significantly with the co-circulation of the Delta variant for modifications.”
As of August 29, over 4,500 sequences (3,794 B.1.621 sequences and 856 B.1.621.1 sequences), genome sequences, analysed samples of the virus taken from sufferers, had been designated as Mu previously 4 weeks.
In the meantime, based on a WHO report on Wednesday, the novel coronavirus pandemic has killed not less than 124,811 folks in Colombia.
Greater than 4,905,258 confirmed instances have been formally identified throughout the nation for the reason that begin of the pandemic. As of August 27, 34,247,170 doses of vaccine had been administered.
Information experiences from South Africa mentioned scientists had been intently monitoring the event of one other new variant there.
Nevertheless, C.1.2 just isn’t but a variant to comply with, nor a variant of concern, based on the classification of WHO.
“It doesn’t seem that its circulation is growing,” mentioned Margaret Harris, a spokesperson for the WHO, at a UN press briefing in Geneva on Tuesday.