The entire world is still reeling with the impact of the coronavirus and its multiple variants. First, the original strain of the virus which allegedly originated from the wet market in Wuhan, China rapidly spread across the world in the earlier part of 2020 and caused a global pandemic. Ever since then the virus has been constantly modifying its genetic content and turning into newer and more dangerous variants of itself.
At a time when the Delta Variant is still going strong in many countries and causing second and third waves in countries like the USA or Australia which have already vaccinated a large chunk of their populations, a new variant of the virus has popped up which even the World Health Organisation (WHO) is calling a Variant of Interest (VOI).
In the weekly Covid epidemiological report published by the World Health Organization, the global health is calling the new coronavirus variant called “mu” and is currently monitoring it closely. WHO also warns that the new mutation has the potential to evade immunity provided by a previous Covid-19 infection or vaccination.
The MU variant was found in the South American country Columbia and since then has spread to more than 39 countries across the entire continent and even in Europe.
WHO said that the global prevalence of the Mu variant is currently below 0.1% but its prevalence in Colombia (39%) and Ecuador (13%) has consistently increased.
In researches, the mu variant is found to possess a “constellation of mutations that indicate potential properties of immune escape.”
Along with the mu variant, WHO has 4 other Variant of Interest which are the Delta variant, first found in India in 2021 and right now the most prevalent variant currently circulating in the U.S. and UK; alpha, first detected in the U.K. in 2020; beta, first detected in South Africa, and gamma, first detected in Brazil.
The pandemic has till now claimed 45 million lives and has caused irreversible changes to the economy and people’s behaviours.