B.1.1.529 was added to the World Health Organization’s list of variants under monitoring on Wednesday.
Scientists have voiced concern about a new COVID variant that has a “really awful” combination of mutations that could possibly cause the virus to evade immunity.
The variant, now called B.1.1.529, was reported on just days ago after a small cluster of cases were spotted by Tom Peacock, a virologist at Imperial College London in the U.K.
As of Wednesday this week, the variant had been detected in Botswana, South Africa, and Hong Kong, and there were only 10 cases reported, The Guardian newspaper reported.
Greg Dore, an infectious disease physician at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, Australia, tweeted on Wednesday night that B.1.1.529 “has mutations associated [with] reduced vaccine effectiveness” but added it may also be that case that the variant is not particularly transmissible. He added: “Time to monitor, not time to panic.”Newsweek
The World Health Organization is monitoring a new coronavirus variant called “mu,” which the agency says has mutations that have the potential to evade immunity provided by a previous Covid-19 infection or vaccination.
Mu — also known by scientists as B.1.621 — was added to the WHO’s list of variants “of interest” on Aug. 30, the international health organization said in its weekly Covid epidemiological report published late Tuesday.CNBC