WHO is monitoring 'Mu', new coronavirus variant, can be vaccine-resistant
- 'Mu' variant is scientifically called B.1.62
- It was first identified in Colombia in January
- 'Mu' has a constellation of mutations that indicate potential properties of immune escape
The World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday said that it is monitoring a new variant of the coronavirus known as 'Mu'. Scientifically called B.1.621, the variant was first identified in Colombia in January.
According to the WHO bulletin weekly pandemic bulletin, 'Mu' has been classified as the Variant of Interest (VOI). This variant is said to have mutations that indicate a risk of resistance to existing vaccines.
"The Mu variant has a constellation of mutations that indicate potential properties of immune escape," the WHO bulletin said.
The WHO, however, stressed that further studies and information is needed to better understand the nature and transmissibility of the 'Mu' variant.
This comes just a few days after a new variant of the coronavirus named C. 1.2 was identified in South Africa. The variant, which is also said to be a potential Variant of Concern, was first detected in May when the country was reeling with the third wave of COVID-19.
According to a study, the C.1.2 variant is assigned to the PANGO lineage C.1.2 and can be more infectious than any other variant detected so far. However, a peer-review of the study and more information needs to be assessed to establish the nature of this variant.
According to the report, C.1.2 is linked with increased transmissibility and reduced neutralisation sensitivity" and has mutated substantially than its parent lineage.
Other coronavirus Variants of Interest are Alpha, Beta, Delta, Kappa and Gamma.
Out of these, Delta Variant, which is believed to be causing a surge in COVID-19 cases in the USA, Europe and China, is the fittest and the fastest variant of the coronavirus so far said, researchers.
Delta variant, which was first detected in India, is to be a lung attacker and damages the organ causing the oxygen level to drop down drastically. This is why the world had witnessed a shortage of oxygen cylinders across the world during these waves.
Recently, WHO said that the Delta variant is likely to dominate the world in the coming months.