Corona: Variant Mu has already left its mark in Austria

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The coronavirus variant Mu is spreading. It is now Colombia’s dominant viral strain and is behind most corona deaths, according to Marcela Mercado of the state health agency.
Mu resistant to vaccination?
The World Health Organization (WHO) recently classified Mu as a “variant of interest” and warned of possible resistance to vaccines.

Mu causes deadliest corona wave
Mu is responsible for the deadliest wave of the Corona pandemic in Colombia to date, Mercado told a local radio station. Not only that, “It’s now in at least 43 countries and has shown itself to be highly contagious.” During the third wave of infections in Colombia from April to June, about 700 people died daily from the virus, according to the data. Mu was detected in nearly two-thirds of tests on Corona deaths, he said. The virus variant had first appeared in Colombia in January.

WHO considers Mu a “variant of interest”
So far, nearly 125,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the South American country, where less than one-third of the population of about 50 million has been vaccinated against the coronavirus. The World Health Organization (WHO) had classified Mu or B.1.621 as a “variant of interest” on Tuesday. It said the variant had mutations that raised concerns about the risk of resistance to corona vaccines. The mu variant has been detected in other South American countries in addition to Colombia, as well as in Europe. In Austria, it has been seven weeks since traces of the Colombian coronavirus variant B.1.621 were detected in wastewater treatment plant analyses at the Wörthersee West wastewater treatment plant, according to the Institute for Food Safety, Veterinary Medicine and the Environment.

Mutation of viruses not unusual
That viruses mutate is normal. Most mutations are harmless and do not change the properties of pathogens. However, against the backdrop of rising infection rates worldwide, experts fear the emergence of a new viral variant in the case of the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus, which could have implications for the effectiveness of available corona vaccines. Currently, WHO classifies four Corona variants as “of concern,” including the alpha variant present in more than 190 countries and the delta variant present in 170 countries, which is particularly infectious.

  • source: vienna.at/picture: pixabay.com
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