TORONTO –The World Health Organization (WHO) is monitoring a new variant of interest originating out of Colombia dubbed “Mu.”
In the agency’s weekly epidemiological update released on Tuesday, WHO upgraded the Mu variant, also referred to as virus B.1.621, to a variant of concern effective Aug. 30, and added the virus has a “constellation of mutations that indicate potential properties of immune escape.”
Mu was first identified back in January 2021 and there have been reports – of both sporadic and larger outbreaks — across South America and Europe since.
As of Aug. 29, there have been 4,650 sequenced cases of the Mu variant across 39 nations, but the WHO notes that it reportedly represents 39 per cent of cases in Colombia and 13 per cent of cases in Ecuador, though there are sequencing limitations in both countries.
The WHO said that preliminary data suggests …