Public Health England (PHE) has detected a total of 53 cases since it was placed on the World Health Organization's (WHO) list of 'variants of interest.'
Mu versus Delta
Having first emerged in the UK back in May, the new strain has been mostly detected in patients over the age of 50. Fortunately, it has not been the cause of any deaths as it stands currently. Further research will be needed to determine if the Mu strain is a mutation that is able to bypass protection provided by coronavirus vaccines. Dr Meera Chand, Covid-19 Incident Director at PHE, explained that:
We continue to monitor the situation closely and there is so far no evidence that Mu can outcompete the dominant Delta variant, with cases in the UK remaining very low. And added:
All appropriate public health interventions are being undertaken. Where cases have been identified, additional follow-up of cases, testing of contacts and, if required, targeted case finding will be deployed to limit its spread
What are the symptoms to watch out for?
According to the National Health Service (NHS), people who have contracted this specific strain of the coronavirus will experience at least one of the following three symptoms:
- High temperature: a temperature above 38.1°C
- Continuous coughing: a sudden constant cough that lasts more than an hour or more coughing episodes during a 24 hour period.
- A loss or changeto your sense of taste or smell: much like the tell-tale sign of all coronavirus variants, a sudden change in the way you perceive smell or taste could be an indication of infection.