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Experts confirm Mu variant of Covid-19 already in HK

04 September 2021

By The SUN 

WHO says Mu can evade immunity from vaccines and antibodies (File) 

The Department of Health has confirmed that the Mu variant of Covid-19 has been detected in three people who arrived in Hong Kong from Colombia and the United States in June and July.

Mu (also known to scientists as B.1.621) was designated as a “variant of concern” by the World Health Organization on Aug 30 because of preliminary evidence that it can evade antibodies.

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According to the DH, the Mu variant was found in a 19-year-old man and 22-year-old woman who had flown into Hong Kong from Colombia in early June.

A 26-year-old woman who came from the United States in late July and was fully inoculated with the BioNTech vaccine was also found to carry it.

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Microbiologist Ho Pak-leung from the University of Hong Kong said Mu was first identified in Colombia in January, and now accounts for over 4,500 cases worldwide.


Ho called on the government to make cases of the Mu variant public to raise awareness, but added it is not yet known if it is more infectious than Delta, which is now being blamed for the rapid spread of the coronavirus in many parts of the world.

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WHO says the variant has the potential to evade immunity provided by vaccines and antibodies, but little is known about how transmissible it is or whether it could make patients seriously ill.

While the variant makes up less than 0.1% of Covid infections all over the world, it has spread rapidly in Colombia, where it has been identified in 39% of cases.
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