New Mu variant of coronavirus COVID-19 need to be studied for their potential impact on the body’s immune response, Spokesperson of the World Health Organization (WHO) Tarik Jašarević told Report.
“It has been designated as a Variant of Interest as it has some mutations that need to be studied for their potential impact on the body’s immune response. Data shared with the WHO Virus Evolution Working Group indicate that immunity developed through prior infection or vaccination may not be as strong against this variant,” he said, adding that more studies are needed to confirm this.
However, the new variant was first identified in Colombia in January 2021. He added that as of 29 August, over 4500 sequences of the Mu variant had been uploaded to GISAID from 39 countries.
“The circulation of the Mu variant has been declining globally, and less than 0.1% of currently shared sequences are of this variant,” he added, noting that its prevalence in Colombia and Ecuador had been increasing in recent weeks.
“WHO will closely follow the epidemiological evolution of this variant, along with studies on its impact,” concluded the spokesperson.