On September 1, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the “Mu” variant is at risk of vaccine resistance and is monitoring this strain.
1. What is Mu mutation?
Mu strain has the scientific name of B.1.621. This variant was first discovered in early January 2021 in Colombia. By August 30, 2021, Mu was added to the list of Covid-19 strains to be monitored by the World Health Organization (WHO).
2. How dangerous is the Mu strain?
According to the WHO report, at the beginning of the year, in South America and Europe, the Mu strain caused some scattered clusters of cases but so far has not spread as strongly as the Delta strain. Therefore, scientists say that this strain is not a big threat.
But on September 1, WHO announced that the “Mu” variant was at risk of vaccine resistance due to a mutation that is harmful to health and has appeared in a number of countries. Therefore, this variant is classified as a strain to monitor, in which this group includes Lambda, Eta, Iota, Kappa and Mu.
However, WHO also said that there is still no more specific evidence of virulence or spread, so it needs to be monitored and studied more closely. Regarding this strain, scientists also said that they are currently reviewing and studying whether the Mu strain can overcome the immune system of the vaccine or the antibodies of people who have been infected with Covid-19.
University of Queensland expert Dr Paul Griffin also said that the medical community is looking at the ability of strains to infect people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19. As well as the danger of this new strain of Mu. But he said that, up to now, there is no specific scientific evidence that the Mu strain is resistant to the Covid-19 vaccine.
The new WHO report also said that the frequency of occurrence of Mu mutation in countries around the world is decreasing, currently below 0.1%. But in Colombia and Ecuador, this percentage is still very large, specifically at 39% and 13%. It is worth mentioning that in these two countries the rate is still on an upward trend. At the same time, in the US and Europe, the Mu strain has also caused some infections.
Accordingly, all viruses, including the SARS CoV-2 virus, have mutated over time, including some harmless mutations. But there are many mutations that increase virulence and transmission, causing harm to human health as well as disease prevention becomes more difficult.
Regarding this issue, Dr. Griffin said, to prevent the mutation of viruses, the best way is to limit their spread in the community.
In Asia, on September 1, Japan officially announced that the Mu strain had appeared in this country. Specifically, the Japanese Ministry of Health said that the first positive case with Mu mutation was a woman from the UAE on June 26. The second case is also a woman who entered the UK from the UK on July 5. It is worth mentioning, Japan Times reported that these two cases did not show any symptoms of the disease upon arrival at the airport.
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