Another Variant In Our Fight Against Covid-19


The World Health Organization has not added a variant of interest since June of 2021. As of August 29, 2021, the WHO has added another variant of interest: Mu.

The WHO classifies variants in three ways. As a variant of interest (VOI) and, as a variant of concern (VOC) and a variant of high consequence.

Mu was initially detected in Columbia in January of 2021, and is now the dominant strain in that country.  Mu has now been detected in all states in our nation, with the exception of Nebraska. 

Luckily, Mu does not seem to be overtaking Delta, which is currently the dominant variant throughout the world.

There are currently four other variants of interest: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and now Mu.

It should be noted that if Mu starts to overtake Delta as the dominant variant, the WHO might upgrade Mu from a variant of interest to a variant of concern (VOC).  This is an important distinction that we have to be on the look out for. They only have three classifications: variant of interest, variant of concern and variant of high consequence.

One of the reasons for the increased concern by WHO over Mu, is the fact that “preliminary evidence suggests that the Mu variant could partially evade the antibodies we get from vaccination.”

I know we sound like a broken record, but there simply is not enough clinical research data into Mu to fully understand its delicate properties and its effect on the general population.

The vaccines currently in use are protecting well from additional variants and more severe COVID and hospitalizations. Sadly, the unvaccinated still have a bullseye on their back, and the deaths and severe illness are increasing as a result. 

If research and data suggests that the efficacy of our current vaccinations is waning, a reformulated vaccine can be altered from existing vaccines in a relatively short period of time (6 to 8 weeks). 

Basically, a more virulent and transmissible variant has not surged to the forefront. Experts believe that is more likely than not in the future.

Do you agree with the response of our government and experts? Do you feel that the needs of everyone were met during this pandemic?

While most of us never thought we would see a pandemic of this magnitude in our lifetimes, it HAS happened. So the likelihood of another pandemic at some point in time is a very realistic possibility.

Will there be an operational plan in place for the next pandemic? You have to remember that we do have a voice and when we elect our officials, our opinions, wants and needs should be addressed.  The manner we progress forward and how we handle the aftermath of the pandemic should be a top priority for all of us.  The effects of this pandemic will continue to be felt both financially and emotionally for the foreseeable future.

If you are scared of emerging variants as I am, know that the best way to fight these variants is by vaccinating as many people as possible.

I am not going to worry unnecessarily about Mu until the WHO changes Mu from a VOI to a VOC.

Drug companies are currently working to develop booster shots to combat against the multiple variants in the future.

 Information above is provided to you through The Conversation under a Creative Commons License.  You can read the entire article here: “What’s the Mu variant? And will we keep seeing more concerning variants?”

One thing to keep in mind is that the reason we are having so many variants emerge is due to the enormous numbers of COVID-19 infections.

 When asked about the Mu variant, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert stated:

“The U.S. is paying attention to it, but it isn’t considered an immediate threat.”

The World Health Organization states this variant is worth watching because of Mu’s prevalence in 39 countries and 49 states in the U.S.

Although the vaccines may not provide forever protection, it is comforting to know that there has not been a variant to emerge that escapes our vaccine protection.

According to The Conversation:

“It’s possible we could see a variant overtake Delta in terms of infectiousness eventually. Scientists think it’s at least 50% more infectious than the Alpha variant, which was about 50% more infectious than the original strain." 

They go on to say that the best way of combating variants is to get as many people vaccinated as possible, so there are fewer susceptible hosts for the virus to reproduce and mutate.

The World Health Organization has not yet stated whether the symptoms of the Mu COVID-19 variant differ to other strains.

Anyone with a high temperature, a new and continuous cough, and a loss/change to their sense of smell/taste, must get a PCR test and stay at home until their results are cleared, even if the symptoms are mild.

While Delta remains the most concerning and dominant variant, we need to stay up to date on current data as it becomes available.

In case you have not been staying tuned in to current events, here are two frightening statistics:

1 IN 500 AMERICANS HAS BEEN KILLED BY COVID-19
1 IN 35 OF 85 & OLDER AMERICANS HAVE BEEN KILLED BY COVID-19 

This is real. Not a conspiracy. Only facts. Further, among 18-39-year-olds, Black and Hispanic Americans died from the disease more than three times as often as White Americans.

To learn more about the Mu variant, you can watch this video below:

 

Last year, we published an article about the “twindemic”, which is a coinciding flu and COVID-19 epidemic. We lucked out due to masking and social distancing, and our flu season was mild. Experts do not believe that will be the case for this flu season. Experts believe that an outbreak is possible in areas of the country that have low vaccination rates for both flu and COVID-19.

While none of us want to consider another vaccination, the flu vaccine is more important than ever to protect not only ourselves, but our elderly and youngsters.

To read our previously published article on the “twindemic”, you can read it here:

Be safe. Be proactive. Get vaccinated, and let’s get back to having fun and less serious content!