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Posted: Thursday 9 September, 2021 at 12:59 PM

Mu Variant detected in the region

By: Staff Reporter,

    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - AS the Caribbean region continues to grapple with the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, concerns are being raised as the latest variant has been been detected in one country within the region.


    The Mu Variant has been detected in St. Vincent and Grenadines (SVG), making it the first territory to confirm its presence, even as efforts continue to prevent the spread of the Delta Variant.


    First detected in Columbia back in January, media reports highlighted that it has largely been isolated to several countries, mainly those in South America. However, cases have since been confirmed in the United States and some areas in Europe.


    Now, health officials in SVG have confirmed the presence of a number of cases of the Mu Variant in that territory.


    The Ministry of Health announced that on review of sequencing of results for samples sent from St. Vincent and the Grenadines to the Caribbean Public Health Agency, five cases were detected between July 19 and August 9.


    It was noted that the cases were from community spread after health officials conducted contact tracing of positive cases.


    The MU Variant is said to be responsible for approximately one percent of all positive cases around the work, but it has a higher number in its home country.


    The Variant of interest is still being investigated by the World Health Organisation though it has been in circulation for several months.


    This is the fifth variant in circulation to go along with the Alpha (B.1.1.7), Beta (B.1.351, B.1.351.2, B.1.351.3), Delta (B.1.617.2, AY.1, AY.2, AY.3), and Gamma (P.1, P.1.1, P.1.2), according to the United States-based Center for Disease Control (CDC).


    Health officials in St. Kitts and Nevis are awaiting results from samples sent overseas for testing, as the Federation continues to see growing numbers of confirmed cases. 


    Currently, the Lambada Variant is said to be the only known strain detected in the Federation.


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