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WHO closely monitors Mu variant of SARS-CoV-2

Geneva, Sep 1 (Prensa Latina) The World Health Organization (WHO) is currently monitoring the Mu variant (B.1.621) of SARS-CoV-2, classified so far as 'of interest.'

According to the latest report issued at the end of August by the entity, that modification of the coronavirus, which caused the Covid-19 pandemic, was identified for the first time in Colombia in January 2021 and has a constellation of mutations that indicate potential immune escape properties.

In its weekly epidemiological update, WHO noted that Mu has been reported in 39 countries mainly in South America and Europe.

Although its global prevalence decreased to less than 0.1 percent, its presence in Colombia increased to 39 percent and in Ecuador to 13 percent, the organization’s report indicated.

The WHO informed that preliminary data from Mu show a reduction in the ability to neutralize the virus in both recoveries from Covid-19 and vaccinated people.

A SARS-CoV-2 variant is classified as ‘of concern’ when it has risk factors that may make it more contagious or vaccine-resistant.

Subsequently, in-depth studies have been conducted to determine if they are more aggressive or transmissible. If so, it is then classified as a ‘variant of concern.’

Up to date, there are four variants of ‘concern:’ Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta, while there are five variants of ‘interest:’ Eta, Lota, Kappa, Lambda and Mu.