Things You Should Know About COVID-19 Mu Variant
When viruses infiltrate healthy cells in the human body, our internal mechanisms of cells are hijacked to produce more virus cells. This typically means a trip to our Private GP London or to one of the many Private Clinic London has to offer. A hijacked host cell may produce millions of fresh viruses and the process isn’t perfect. When genetic information from the original virus is copied, there could be errors. These genetical errors or mutations will be passed down to new viruses and sequences can change due to unintentional deletions, additions, swaps, or shifts of amino acids. Most of these mutations are harmless and may even render new variants ineffective. However, a small proportion of mutations end up making new variants which are potentially more infectious or lethal. These strains can be more contagious and/or cause more severe symptoms. More contagious strains will spread among people more easily and they can become new dominant strains. The Delta strain of SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 caused massive waves of transmissions in early 2021. The emergence of more infectious strains is making it more difficult to control the COVID-19 pandemic. The Mu is among the newest strains of SARS-CoV-2 and it has the potential of becoming the next dominant strain.
A ‘Variant Of Interest’
The Mu variant was first discovered in early 2021 in Colombia and it is contributing to the ongoing pandemic in both Europe and South America. At the moment, the Mu variant is not yet as severe as the Delta variant, but it is becoming a major concern for health authorities and governments. The Mu variant or also known as variant B.1.621 has been designated by the WHO as a ‘variant of interest’. It means, the WHO is constantly monitoring the Mu variant and quick responses will be taken immediately if it potentially triggers the next wave. According to the latest reports by the WHO, the Mu variant has certain mutations that may cause it to circumvent the immune system, including in vaccinated individuals. As a potential “escape variant”, the Mu variant may more easily infect people who already received full vaccinations. Mutations may change the spike protein or change the way virus attaches itself to a healthy cell. Vaccines that are based on previous SARS-CoV-2 variants can become less effective in preventing the spread of the Mu variant. There are still no definitive reports about the actual characteristics of the Mu variant and more research is being performed to understand the Mu variant better. If it is scientifically proven that the Mu variant is more resistant, it may reduce the efficacy of current vaccines. New vaccines must be developed to produce better immune responses. There’s also a distinct possibility that more resistant strains will emerge in coming months.
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To learn more, contact Northway Clinic today and speak to a healthcare professional who can answer any questions you might have.
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