A caller coronavirus “variant of interest” named Mu – besides known by its technological sanction arsenic B.1.621 – is being intimately monitored by the World Health Organization (WHO), the bureau has said.

In its weekly epidemiological update, published connected Tuesday, WHO warned it was becoming progressively prevalent successful Colombia and Ecuador, and showed signs of imaginable absorption to vaccines.

Mu was archetypal identified successful Colombia successful January 2021, and since then, determination person been “sporadic reports” of cases and outbreaks successful South America and Europe, WHO said.

While the planetary prevalence of Mu among sequenced COVID-19 cases is beneath 0.1%, its prevalence has “consistently increased” successful Colombia and Ecuador, wherever it is present liable for astir 39% and 13% of infections, respectively.

Reports connected the variant’s prevalence should beryllium “interpreted with owed consideration” fixed the debased sequencing capableness of astir countries, the bureau said. 

More resistant to vaccines

Mu is the 5th variant of involvement to beryllium monitored by the WHO since March. It has a fig of mutations that suggest it could beryllium much resistant to vaccines, the wellness bureau warned, but stressed that further probe would beryllium needed to corroborate this.

Preliminary information amusement a reduced effectiveness of vaccines “similar to that seen for the Beta variant”. The WHO said it would beryllium monitoring “the epidemiology of the Mu variant successful South America, peculiarly with the co-circulation of the Delta variant…for changes”

More infections

As of 29 August, implicit 4,500 sequences (3,794 B.1.621 sequences and 856 B.1.621.1 sequences), genome sequences, analysed samples of the microorganism taken from patients, person been designated arsenic Mu successful the past 4 weeks. The sequences are utilized to way however it moves done the population, connected an open-source genome repository, known arsenic GISAID.

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

Although this fig volition beryllium affected by some sequencing capacity, surveillance and the full fig of cases successful an area.

The caller coronavirus pandemic has killed astatine slightest 124,811 radical successful Colombia, according to a WHO study connected Wednesday.

More than 4,905,258 confirmed cases person been officially diagnosed crossed the state since the commencement of the epidemic. As of August 27, a full of 34,247,170 doses of vaccine had been administered.

C.1.2, not presently a concern

South African scientists are intimately monitoring the improvement of different caller variant there, according to quality reports successful the country.

However, C.1.2, is not yet a variant to follow, nor a variant of concern, according to the classification of the World Health Organization.

"It does not look that its circulation is increasing”, said Dr. Margaret Harris, a spokesperson for the WHO, during a UN property briefing successful Geneva connected Tuesday.