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Mu Variant

  • IASbaba
  • September 7, 2021
  • 0
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Mu Variant

Part of: Prelims and GS – II- Health

Context: WHO has classified yet another SARS-CoV-2 variant “B.1.621” as a variant of interest (VOI) and given it the label “Mu”.

About

  • The variant was first identified in Colombia in January, 2021.
  • The global prevalence of the Mu variant among sequenced cases has declined and is currently below 0.1%. However, prevalence in Colombia (39%) and Ecuador (13%) has consistently increased.
  • Larger outbreaks were reported from countries in South America and Europe.
  • Cases have also been reported in the UK, US and Hong Kong.

Classes of SARS-CoV-2 variants

Variant of Interest

  • A variant with specific genetic markers that have been associated with changes to receptor binding which affect its diagnosis and are expected to cause unique outbreak clusters.
  • It is known for it predicted increase in transmissibility.
  • It is classified based on factors such as genetic changes that are predicted or known to affect virus characteristics such as transmissibility, disease severity, immune escape etc.
  • It represents a lower level of concern than a variant of concern (VOC).

 Variant of Concern

  • A variant for which there is evidence of an increase in transmissibility, more severe disease (e.g., increased hospitalizations or deaths).
  • It is known for its significant reduction in neutralization by antibodies generated during previous infection or vaccination, reduced effectiveness of treatments or vaccines, or diagnostic detection failures.
  • Example – Alpha, Beta and Delta variants of SARS-CoV-2.

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