To date, according to the National Health Institute (INS)
, Peru has reported 99 cases of the Mu variant, which the World Health Organization (WHO)
has classified as a "variant of interest."
What is the difference between a variant of interest, like Mu, and a variant of concern, such as Gamma?
"A variant of interest is distinguished by its geographic location, with some changes in its genetic structure compared to the original virus," said Juan More, a comparative immunology physician and researcher at San Marcos University in Lima.
On the other hand, a variant of concern shows evidence of a different behavior, which poses a threat, as was the case of the UK (Alpha) and Brazilian (Gamma) variants.
The Mu variant was first identified in Colombia, but is already found in 39 countries, including Peru, where the Gamma variant predominates, followed by Lambda, and Delta.
The expert stressed the need to bring calm to the population because new variants will continue to emerge, and this should not cause fear or concern.
"In fact, identifying the new variants is important. The key is to monitor them," the San Marcos researcher remarked.
More explained that viruses usually mutate, noting that emphasis must be placed on the early detection of abnormal behaviors, such as speed of replication or lethality, which is not the case with the Mu variant, fortunately.
"The variants we have found so far behave similarly in the way they cause the disease," he said in an interview with TV Peru.
According to the physician, it is important that people know that all the variants, including the Mu strain, are neutralized by the vaccines that we know, thus avoiding severe cases and deaths due to the infection.