Mu Variant Causes Pandemic Spook Once More

by GoNews Desk 2 years ago Views 3308

The WHO is observing all types of virus that lead to coronavirus infections. There have been mutations observed in these viruses which lead to newer forms emerging. Recently, the WHO updated the pandemic bulletin declared a new coronavirus variant, ‘Mu’, as “variant of interest”. This new strain of the virus was first discovered in Columbia in January this year.

The Mu variant, whose scientific name is B.1.621, has been found in 39 countries of South America and Europe as of yet.

The global health agency in its weekly bulletin said that “The Mu variant contains a group of mutants that possibly display the ability to evade the immune system”. Apart from Mu, the WHO has identified and categorized four more “variants of interest”. These variants are named Eta, Iota, Kappa, and Lambda.

The new variant of the highly infectious coronavirus has become a cause for concern amidst a resurgence of coronavirus cases amongst countries of the world following the Delta variant wreaking havoc across the world. All the variants of the coronavirus are mutating over time. Most of these changes do not affect the qualities of the virus, but some can cause critical changes such as its rate of spread, extremity of symptoms, and resistance to vaccination

According to the bulletin, the variant has certain mutants that can counter the effects of vaccination. Most coronavirus vaccines target the spike protein, through which the virus enters the human body. When injected with the vaccine, the body comes in contact with the spike protein and thus the immune system learns to recognize and fight the virus. If the spike protein gets altered in some variants it can end up reducing the body’s ability to subdue the virus as a result.

However, it has not been confirmed whether the new variant is capable of reducing the body’s ability to cope with the coronavirus. Further research is needed to confirm such speculations.  

Ever since the discovery of the Mu variant, the case count across countries has been variable, somewhere more than others. The latest available figures show that this new variant has been found in 0.1% of the total infections worldwide. In Columbia and Ecuador, however, the Mu variant is responsible for 39% and 13% of cases.

As of now, the new u variant is not being considered as dangerous as the Delta variant. The WHO has confirmed another variant C.1.2 along with Mu, but it has not been clarified whether it is a “variant of interest” or “variant of concern”. There have been no officially confirmed cases of the C.1.2 or Mu variant in India at present.

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