“Mu” is the fifth coronavirus disease variant the World Health Organization is monitoring. It was first identified in Colombia in January and has been detected in at least 39 countries on the continents of South America and Europe since then.
The WHO said this variant “has a constellation of mutations that indicate potential properties of immune escape.” It could have the ability to evade the immunity people get from vaccines.
The Mu variant currently makes up less than 0.1 percent of COVID-19 infections in the world, though its prevalence in Colombia and Ecuador consistently rises.
The UN health agency said more study is needed for the Mu strain to see if it will prove to be more contagious, more deadly, or more resistant to current vaccines and treatment.
The Delta strain currently caused 99 percent of all new COVID-19 infections in the U.S. and some U.S. experts say that they don’t think Mu will overtake the Delta variant.