A senior health official said Thursday that the variant of the virus that causes COVID-19 and is spreading in South America is currently not a problem for the United States.
The “Mu” variant, officially named B.1.621, was classified as an interesting variant by the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) this week.
It was first discovered in Colombia in January. Since then, some larger outbreaks have been reported in South America and Europe.
Early data suggests that it may lead to a reduction in the protective effect of the COVID-19 vaccine, “but this needs further research to confirm,” the WHO said in its weekly epidemiological report. report On COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Dr. Anthony Fauci told reporters in a virtual briefing on Thursday that U.S. officials are aware of this variant and “watch it closely.”
However, based on the genome sequencing of the country’s CCP virus cases, the variant has not yet come close to being popular in the United States.
“It’s rarely seen here, but it’s not close to dominance at all. As you know, the Delta is more than 99% dominant,” said President Joe Biden’s chief medical adviser and long-term director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Fauci said.
Fauci also seems to have downplayed preliminary data showing that Mu variants evade certain antibodies, including those produced by vaccines.
“Remember, even if your variant does reduce the efficacy of the vaccine to some extent, the vaccine is still very effective against this type of variant,” he said.
According to data from the World Health Organization, the prevalence of this strain in Colombia and Ecuador has continued to increase over time. It currently accounts for nearly four out of ten cases of the former and more than one tenth of the latter.
“More research is needed to understand the phenotype and clinical characteristics of this variant. The epidemiology of Mu variants in South America, especially the co-transmission of Delta variants, will be monitored to understand the changes,” said WHO.
François Balloux, head of the Department of Computational Biology and Systems Biology at UCL University in London, said on social media on Thursday that the WHO may promote the Mu variant because of recent cases of this variant in the United States. Increased.
He wrote: “It’s not particularly worrying at this stage, but it deserves attention.”
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times