World Health Organisation to monitor new coronavirus variant

The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified a new coronavirus strain as an area of ​​interest.

Mu, also known as B.1.621, was first identified in Colombia, and cases have since been recorded elsewhere in South America and Europe.

The WHO weekly bulletin on the pandemic states that the variant has mutations, which means that like the beta variant, it could be more resistant to vaccines. Further studies will be carried out to see if this is the case.

The bulletin read: “Since its first identification in Colombia in January 2021, there have been some sporadic reports of cases of the mu variant and some major outbreaks have been reported from other countries in South America and Europe.

“Although the worldwide prevalence of the Mu variant in sequenced cases has decreased and is currently below 0.1%, the prevalence in Colombia (39%) and Ecuador (13%) has risen steadily.

“The epidemiology of the mu variant in South America, particularly with the common distribution of the delta variant, is monitored for changes.”

According to the WHO, there are currently four coronavirus variants of concern, with the alpha variant – first recorded in Kent – seen in 193 countries, beta in 141, gamma in 91 and delta in 170 countries, while mu is the fifth variant of. is interest.

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