US health authorities continue to assess the threat that the Mu (B.1.621) variant of the coronavirus may pose, as the strain is suspected to be able to resist protection from some antibodies, said the main US epidemiologist, Anthony Fauci , this Sunday (5).
“The concern is that it has a constellation of mutations that would indicate that it may escape the protection of some antibodies,” Fauci told the CBS channel.
The epidemiologist revealed that authorities are still watching the new variant to make sure it doesn’t become dominant.
However, Fauci said the United States still does not have enough data to determine the effectiveness of existing vaccines against the Mu variant. At the same time, the epidemiologist highlighted that the third booster dose turned out to be “very effective” against all strains studied.
In any case, Fauci said, at the moment, the Mu strain does not pose “an immediate threat”. US health authorities “take all the variants very seriously”.
On August 30, the World Health Organization placed the Mu variant on the list of strains of interest, which also includes Iota, Kappa, Lambda and Eta. This means that the strain has genetic differences from other known variants and causes infections in several countries and, therefore, may pose a special threat to public health.
The Mu strain was first registered in Colombia in January 2021 and has now spread to at least 40 countries. However, it is currently considered responsible for only 0.1% of infections worldwide. (with Sputnik Brazil agency)