WHO warns against a new Covid variant that may be resistant to vaccines

WION Web Team
Washington, United States Published: Sep 01, 2021, 03:38 PM(IST)

Coronavirus (Representative Image) Photograph:( WION Web Team )

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Experts explained that this new variant of coronavirus has been mutating. This has led the scientists to believe that the Mu variant might be resistant to the existing vaccines

As the world battles the Delta variant, World Health Organization (WHO) has identified a new coronavirus strain that may be able to bypass vaccines' effect.

In WHO’s weekly bulletin on the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisation talked about the new variant dubbed as Mu, or B.1.621, which was first identified in Colombia in January 2021.

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Experts explained that this new variant of coronavirus has been mutating. This has led the scientists to believe that the Mu variant might be resistant to the existing vaccines. This has reminded the experts about the situation with the Beta variant. However, the WHO has also cautioned people that more studies are needed to examine this variant and its resistance further.

"Since its first identification in Colombia in January 2021, there have been a few sporadic reports of cases of the Mu variant and some larger outbreaks have been reported from other countries in South America and in Europe," the bulletin read.

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While the totality rate of growth has not been alarming yet, its spread in Colombia and Ecuador is increasing. "Although the global prevalence of the Mu variant among sequenced cases has declined and is currently below 0.1%, the prevalence in Colombia (39%) and Ecuador (13%) has consistently increased," the bulletin explained. "The epidemiology of the Mu variant in South America, particularly with the co-circulation of the Delta variant, will be monitored for changes."

As of now, the world is fighting the deadly and wide spread of the Delta variant which was first identified by the scientists of India and has quickly spread across the world. Along with the Delta variant, there are three other variants of concern — Alpha variant, which was first recorded in England; Beta which has spread in 141 countries and Gamma which is now found in over 90 countries.

Mu variant is the fifth variant of interest, for now, as per the WHO.

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