COVID19: Mu variant not a concern

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The new Mu variant does not appear ready to replace Delta as the dominant COVID-19 mutation, although scientists argue it has been around for some months now in South America.

Zoe Dorothea-Pana, a lecturer in paediatrics at the European University and member of the Health Ministry’s COVID-19 advisory team, said Mu is not destructive as Delta.

According to the expert, Mu is being studied by scientists because, to a certain degree, it seems to affect the efficiency of vaccines.

“The scientific community does not want to see the variant becoming dominant through a significant portion of cases, which will bring about mutations affecting the efficiency of vaccinations,” Pana told CNA.

Dr Pana said that Mu has been characterised as a mutation of interest and not of concern like the more potent Delta.

“What we know and what’s important so far is that in Europe and therefore also in the Republic of Cyprus, almost 100% of the samples sent for sequencing, i.e. to detect mutations, relate to the Delta variant.”

She said although this mutation has been detected for some months now, mainly in South America, it does not seem for the time being to present a tendency to prevail over the Delta variant.

“The scientific community will start worrying about vaccinations once the number of cases caused by the Delta variant starts to rise and tends to become dominant, and once it has a better overview about the variant’s influence over vaccinations.”