'Mu' Covid variant potentially of concern: EU agency

The European Medicines Agency said Thursday a coronavirus variant known as "Mu" could be cause for concern, although there is no data yet to show it will overtake the dominant Delta strain.

Iran PressEurope: Mu, which was first identified in Colombia in January and is known scientifically as B.1.621, was classified earlier this month as a "variant of interest" by the World Health Organization (WHO), according to France 24.

The EMA, while mainly focused on the highly transmissible Delta variant, is "also looking into other variants that might be spreading, like the Lambda one (identified in Peru) and more recently the Mu one.

"The Mu one being potentially more of concern because of the potential increased immune escape that it may show."

The WHO currently identifies four COVID-19 variants of concern, including Alpha, which is present in 193 countries, and Delta, present in 170 countries.

After being detected in Colombia, Mu has since been reported in other South American countries and in Europe.

The WHO said its global prevalence has declined to below 0.1 percent among sequenced cases. In Colombia, however, it is at 39 percent.


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