WHO is monitoring the new strain of Covid-19

The World Health Organization (WHO) believes that “Mu”, a new strain of Covid-19, contains a series of mutations capable of evading immunity.

The WHO believes that the Mu strain has a series of mutations that reveal the latent properties of its ability to evade the immune system. Photo: AFP

Mu mutation is also known by scientists as B.1.621. It was added by WHO to the list of strains that need “concern” on August 30.

According to WHO, the Mu strain contains genetic mutations that make natural immunity, current vaccines or monoclonal antibody treatments are not as effective against as against the original strain.

However, additional studies are needed to determine whether Mu mutation more likely to spread faster, cause more deaths, or be more resistant to current vaccines and treatments.

In a report dated August 31, the WHO said that Mu “has a range of mutations that suggest a latent property of the ability to evade the immune system”.

“Preliminary data provided to the Working Group on Viral Evolution show a similar reduction in the neutralizing capacity of the immune sera and vaccine as in the Beta variant, but this needs to be clarified by further studies. further study,” the WHO report stated.

The Mu variant was first detected in Colombia but has so far been confirmed circulating in at least 39 countries, according to the WHO. Although the global prevalence of the Mu variant among sequenced Covid-19 infections has decreased and is now below 0.1%, the prevalence of this strain in Colombia and Ecuador has continued. get a raise.

According to WHO, more studies are needed to understand the clinical features of the Mu variant. “The epidemiology of the Mu variant in South America, especially with the circulation with the Delta variant, will need to be monitored to identify variations,” the organization said.

Currently, WHO is closely monitoring four “concern” strains, including the Lambda variant, which was first discovered in Peru. The “concerned” strains have caused epidemics in many countries and have genetic mutations that make them more dangerous than other strains.

In addition, WHO is also monitoring four “disturbing” strains, including Delta (first discovered in India and most common in the US); Alpha (first discovered in the UK); Beta (first discovered in South Africa); and Gamma (first discovered in Brazil).

Delta used to be a “concern” variant of the WHO until the agency reclassified it in early May after preliminary studies showed Delta could spread more easily than other strains. other of Covid-19. That Delta has since been blamed for many major disease outbreaks around the world, including the United States.

A “worrying” strain is usually defined as a strain that is mutated, more contagious, more lethal, or more resistant to current vaccines and treatments.