Even if the variants are limited within a small area, the emergence of new variants in significant at new strains indicate the virus’s reaction to the vaccines.

The World Health Organization has named a new variant of coronavirus as ‘Mu’ and classified it as a variant of interest in its latest pandemic bulletin. With the addition of Mu, now there are five variants of interest such as Eta, Iota, Kappa, Lambda and Mu.

What is Mu variant of Covid which is under WHO monitoring at present
What is Mu variant of Covid which is under WHO monitoring at present

Here is all you need to know about this new variant

1. This variant is scientifically known as B.1.621.

2. Mu was first detected in Colombia in January and was classified as a variant of interest in August.

3. Mu has mutations that indicate a risk of resistance to vaccines, but further studies are needed for better understanding.

4. The variant might have immune escape properties as it has a constellation of mutations.

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5. After Colombia, Mu has been reported in other South American countries and in Europe. Though it is not widespread across the globe, its presence is 39 per cent in Colombia.

Apart from this variant, which has already been classified by the WHO, another variant C.1.2 has been detected. This has not been classified as either a variant of interest or a variant of concern, but the WHO said that it is monitoring the variant. None of these variants has been detected in India.

Why emerging variants are significant even if they are not widespread

These new variants are far from what Delta has become. But the emergence of new strains is of much importance to the scientific fraternity as strains are the virus’s response to vaccines. Hence, chances are there that new variants may neutralise vaccines.


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