WHO announces new COVID-19 strain

Director-General of the World Health Organization

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus - Director-General of the World Health Organization

By URN

The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified a new strain of COVID-19 called Mu.

According to their latest bulletin, the variant also code-named as B.1.621 is categorized as a variant of interest and that they are closely monitoring it.

While the popular Delta variant that originated from India remains dominant and has ravaged many places across the globe, Mu has so far been identified in 39 countries but the UN organization says it has a group of mutations, something that suggests it can evade vaccine immunity. 

The Mu variant which accounts for about 0.1% of infections now was first identified in Colombia in January 2021, according to the WHO. Since that time, there have been some scattered cases, as well as reports of larger outbreaks, around the world, including in South America and Europe. 

There are three categories of variants being monitored by global health officials which are categorized as” variants of interest,” “variants of concern” and “variants of high consequence.”

A variant of concern is one in which there is evidence of an increase in transmission, more severe disease for instance increased hospitalizations or deaths.

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