The emergence of new COVID causing coronavirus variants has become a cause of worry for health experts and scientists around the world. To avoid confusion the World Health Organization (WHO) had introduced a naming system to track the constantly mutating virus variants, the most recent being C.1.2 and Mu, which has been placed in the variant of concern category.
While the Delta variant, which was first found in India and led to a deadly second wave of COVID-19 in the country, continues to be an alarming element, other variants are also shaping into a new concern. Here’ the status of other variants of interest as per scientists.
The Delta variant still remains the most worrisome as countries like the US, China and Switzerland witness another wave of COVID as cases continue to rise every day. Some parts of the country are even seeing overwhelming hospitalisation rates and a shortage of oxygen.
The WHO classifies Delta as a variant of concern, meaning it has been shown capable of increasing transmissibility, causing more severe disease or reducing the benefit of vaccines and treatments.
According to health experts, Delta is the fastest and fittest variant of coronavirus.
Lamba variant was first detected in Peru in December 2020.
Although Lambda variants cases were rising in July, reports of this variant have been falling globally for the past four weeks, according to data by GISAID, a database that tracks SARS-CoV-2 variants.
Lamba was classified as a variant of interest by the WHO.
Mu variant, formerly known as B.1.621, is being monitored by the WHO. It was first identified in Colombia in January. On August 30, the WHO designated it as a variant of interest due to several concerning mutations and assigned a Greek letter name to it.
As per initial reports, the variant may evade vaccine protection.
In a press briefing last week, White House chief medical advisor Dr Anthony Fauci said US officials are watching it, but so far Mu is not considered an immediate threat.