The director of research in Public Health of the National Institute of Health (INS), Marcela Mercado, revealed that since January the first case of the Mu – μ variant was detected on the Atlantic Coast, which was classified by the World Organization for Health (WHO) as of international interest.
Mercado explained that by then the variant had no name and had three mutations.
The official explained that it was later detected that in several cities in that region more cases of the COVID-19 variant were being confirmed.
“Indeed, it is the predominant variant in Colombia and it was the one that maintained the third peak. During all the time that we have carried out genomic surveillance, more or less 60% of the deaths that we sequence are of that lineage,” said Mercado.
She explained that in this case the variant Mu-μ (letter of the Greek alphabet) was classified as of global interest, because it has already been detected in 43 countries.
She indicated that “it has demonstrated a high level of contagion and shares some mutations or special characteristics with other variants of concern, which have already been described as Alpha from the United Kingdom or Beta from South Africa.”
In this sense, he explained that “not all the variants described of the SARS-CoV-2 virus have this classification, there are more than 800 lineages or variants and only those that have been determined with certain characteristics manage to be variants of interest or concern according to with the World Health Organization (WHO), “he indicated.
Marcela Mercado made a new call to the public to continue maintaining biosecurity measures and complete vaccination schedules to avoid new infections.