What is the Mu variant? Everything you need to know about latest Covid strain

A NEW variant of coronavirus is being monitored by health officials.

Tuesday, 7th September 2021, 2:09 pm
The Mu variant could be a threat to public health.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has added another Covid:19 variant to their list to monitor called the Mu variant.

The spread of the variant is being watched carefully after 2,000 cases were confirmed in the US, according to the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data.

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WHO have identified as a variant of interest (VOI).

Here is everything you need to know about the Mu variant:

What is the MU variant?

Currently, we know that Mu has changes, called mutations, which means it may be able to evade the protection we get from the Covid vaccines. Evidence is still emerging of this.

The four other VOIs are Lamda, Kappa, Lota and Eta. They are on the watch list but not listed as “variants of concern” (VOC). It is worth noting that these VOIs are not listed as VOCs, which implies that further data needs to be collected to see just how harmful the variants are.

Where is it spreading?

The Mu variant was first seen in Columbia in January 2021. It has since been detected in 40 countries, although it is currently responsible for only 0.1 per cent of infections globally.

Mu has been much more prevalent in Columbia than anywhere else in the world. There has also been cases spotted in South Korea, Mexico and the US.

Despite the Mu variant being detected in the US, the dominant strain in the states is still the Delta variant.

Has the Mu variant been found in the UK?

Cases of the variant have been confirmed in the UK.

So far, there are at least 23 cases of Mu and a report by Public Health England (PHE) from July said that most cases were found in London.

The cases were mostly found in those within their 20s.

When did WHO add Mu to their watchlist?

The WHO added Mu to their watchlist on August 30 due to it being found within 40 countries, even though the variant was first found in January.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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