Finland sees the first cases of Mu

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Image: Jyrki Lyytikkä / Yle

Last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) named Mu as a “variant of interest.” Today, the strain has been detected in around 40 countries, including Finland.

The WHO looked into Mu after reporting that he possessed a “constellation of mutations indicating potential immune evasion properties” that need to be further investigated.

A Finnish virologist, however, said Mu likely poses no additional threats compared to other variants.

“Any variants that may escape the protection conferred by a previous infection or immunity provided by the vaccine are of potential concern, or the ones we need to watch out for – and this is also the case with Mu,” said the professor of virology. from the University of Turku. Ilkka Julkunen.

The variant was first identified in Colombia earlier this year. A few cases of Mu have been detected in Finland since the summer.

Julkunen noted that studies have indicated that two doses of a vaccine provide sufficient protection to prevent severe cases of Covid.

“More than 90 percent of people who are fully vaccinated do not develop serious infections, so in that sense the vaccines provide sufficient protection against the variants. It is very likely that this Mu variant is the same, so it does not suggest any. substantial additional risk or concern, compared to other mutations, “he explained, adding that it was still too early to know how far this particular strain would spread.

The Delta variant, initially reported in India, currently remains the dominant mutation in Finland.

Finland currently performs genome sequencing on around 10 to 15 percent of positive samples. The Delta variant of Covid-19 has been found in 95% of samples sent for sequencing in the past two months.