COVID-19: New Mu variant could be more vaccine-resistant | | UN News

1 September 2021
A new coronavirus “variant of interest” named Mu – also known by its scientific name as B.1.621 – is being closely monitored by the World
Health Organization (WHO), the agency has said.
In its weekly epidemiological update, published on Tuesday, WHO warned it was becoming increasingly prevalent in Colombia and Ecuador, and showed signs of possible resistance to vaccines.

Mu was first identified in Colombia in January 2021, and since then, there have been “sporadic reports” of cases and outbreaks in South
America and Europe, WHO said.

While the global prevalence of Mu among sequenced COVID-19 cases is below 0.1%, its prevalence has “consistently increased” in
Colombia and Ecuador, where it is now responsible for around 39% and 13%
of infections, respectively.

Reports on the variant’s prevalence should be “interpreted with due
consideration” given the low sequencing capacity of most countries, the
agency said.

More resistant to vaccines

Mu is the fifth variant of interest to be monitored by the WHO since March. It has a number of mutations that suggest it could be more
resistant to vaccines, the health agency warned, but stressed that further research would be needed to confirm this.

Preliminary data show a reduced effectiveness of vaccines “similar to that seen for the Beta variant”. The WHO said it would be monitoring “the epidemiology of the Mu variant in South America, particularly with
the co-circulation of the Delta variant…for changes”

More infections

As of 29 August, 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 patients, have been designated as Mu in the past four weeks. The sequences are used to track how it moves through the
population, on an open-source genome repository, known as GISAID.

Most of these have been reported in the U.S (2,065) and Colombia (852), Mexico (357) and Spain (473).

Although this figure will be affected by both sequencing capacity, surveillance and the total number of cases in an area.

The novel coronavirus pandemic has killed at least 124,811 people in Colombia, according to a WHO report on Wednesday.

More than 4,905,258 confirmed cases have been officially diagnosed
across the country since the start of the epidemic. As of August 27, a total of 34,247,170 doses of vaccine had been administered.

3 thoughts on “COVID-19: New Mu variant could be more vaccine-resistant | | UN News

  1. with the way corona virus recombinate it doesnt have to be more infectious than delta to be a problem
    all it has to do is bring one problematic spike protein change or a new bio hack like sneezing and it will end up rocombinated into delta if it infects the same host
    the reason all the variants end up with the same genetic mutations is corona virus recombination, one of the quirks of corona virus, one of the main reasons we have been watching it for decades
    add to that delta has been shown to back mutate, a new trick for corona viruses/first time its been shown in family …
    probably a big part of how how beta/c12 showed bk up after disappearing for 6 months.
    So each new protein configuration is a problem because its going to lead to needing multiple vaccines and boosters a year in coming years & most countrys wont be able to keep up so variants will build faster and it will be like balancing spinning plates again quite soon

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