GENEVA: The World Health Organization has said it is monitoring a new coronavirus variant known as “Mu”, which was first identified in Colombia in January, reports AFP.
Mu, known scientifically as B.1.621, has been classified as a “variant of interest”, the global health body said on Tuesday in its weekly pandemic bulletin.
“The Mu variant has a constellation of mutations that indicate potential properties of immune escape,” the bulletin said.
There is widespread concern over the emergence of new virus mutations as infection rates are ticking up globally again, with the highly transmissible Delta variant taking hold—especially among the unvaccinated—and in regions where anti-virus measures have been relaxed.
All viruses, including SARS-CoV-2 that causes Covid-19, mutate over time and most mutations have little or no effect on the properties of the virus.
But certain mutations can impact the properties of a virus and influence how easily it spreads, the severity of the disease it causes, and its resistance to vaccines, drugs and other countermeasures.