The Mu variant of Covid-19, officially termed as B.1.621, has been designated as a ‘Variant of Interest’ by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as it has some mutations that “need to be studied for their potential impact on the body’s immune response.”
Finland has reported the very first case of the ‘Mu’ variant of the coronavirus, which was classified as a “variant of interest” by the World Health Organization (WHO) last month. According to a report citing Finnish researchers, although the ‘Mu’ variant of the coronavirus has now been detected in as many as 39 other countries apart from Finland, the variant does not pose any additional threats compared to the other variants of the virus causing the infectious disease.
The WHO designated it as a variant of interest due to the several concerning mutations, and assigned a Greek letter name to it. Mu carries key mutations, including E484K, N501Y, and D614G, that have been linked with increased transmissibility and reduced immune protection.
According to the WHO’s Bulletin published earlier this month, Mu has caused some larger outbreaks in South America and Europe. While the number of genetic sequences identified as Mu has fallen below 0.1% globally, Mu represents 39% of variants sequenced in Colombia and 13% in Ecuador, places where its prevalence has “consistently increased,” WHO reported.