The Mu covid-19 variant, first discovered in Columbia has now spread to a total of 49 states in the US. As of now, Nebraska is the only US state where the virus is not detected. Read to know everything about the new variant.
What is the Mu COVID-19 variant?
‘Mu’ is classified as a Variant of Intrest (VOI) by the World Health Organisation (WHO). It is scientifically known as B.1.621. “The Mu variant has a constellation of mutations that indicate potential properties of immune escape,” reported the WHO. The health authority is closely monitoring the new COVID-19 variant to understand its spread. According to reports, it has spread to South American countries, the US, and Europe. However, California reported the highest number of Mu cases with a total of 384 cases.
The US reported a peak in Mu variant cases in Mid-July. Additionally, Columbia, the birthplace of the variant witnessed a high peak of cases due to the new variant due to low vaccination rates. So far, the coronavirus has taken over 125,000 lives in Columbia as it battles the new coronavirus variant. Reports reveal that the new variant can rival the devastation similar to the delta variant. So far, the variant is found in over 40 countries.
How dangerous is ‘Mu’?
The question-if Mu is more transmissible than delta, the currently dominant variant is unknown. This variant has a P681H mutation, first reported in the alpha variant which increased its transmission rate. However, the study is still under review. Additionally, it also has the E48K and K417N mutations. They give the ability to evade antibodies against COVID-19. These mutations are similar to the beta variant hence, some vaccines may not be effective against them. The new variant also has Y144T and R346K mutations, whose consequences are unknown as of now.
The new variant means that it has enough genetic variation and is causing infections across several countries. Hence, Mu has the potential to be a large threat to public health. Additionally, its genetic changes may make it more transmissible or allow it to cause severe risks and symptoms. Additionally, the new variant may be able to escape the immune response, driven by the vaccines or through infections from other variants.
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