Bermuda Post

Sunday, Mar 26, 2023

3 New Cases Of "Mu Variant" Found In Hong Kong, Authorities Fear It Is Vaccine Resistant

3 New Cases Of "Mu Variant" Found In Hong Kong, Authorities Fear It Is Vaccine Resistant

Health authorities in Hong Kong warned Saturday morning that three people who recently traveled to Hong Kong from Colombia had been found to be carrying the variant Mu with them. World Health Organization has said Mu variant has a number of mutations suggesting it could be more resistant to vaccines.
Three people who recently arrived in Hong Kong were found to be carrying a new coronavirus variant which health experts fear could be more vaccine resistant.

Two of the patients – a 19-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman – had flown in from Colombia and were confirmed to have the Mu variant in early June, while the other, a 26-year-old woman, arrived from the United States, health authorities said on Friday. She was found to be infected on July 24.

The development came as the city confirmed four new imported Covid-19 cases, all involving domestic workers who arrived from the Philippines.

About 4,500 infections involving the Mu variant, known scientifically as B. 1.621, have been reported across the world, with more than half discovered in the US, according to the University of Hong Kong’s Dr Ho Pak-leung, who uncovered two of the three local cases while examining a government database open to the public.

Local health authorities had not reported any cases involving the Mu variant until Ho, an infectious diseases specialist, made his discovery public.

“Although the Mu variant did not leak into the community, the government should still be transparent in keeping the public informed about these variant cases in the city,” Ho told a local radio programme.

“The coronavirus keeps mutating as the globe is still battling a third wave … We cannot underestimate the possibility of having a more infectious variant emerge in the future.”

The World Health Organization (WHO) added Mu, first found in Colombia in January, to its “variants of interest” list on Monday. It has also categorised “variants of concern” to prioritise global monitoring and research, with the Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta types on the list.

There is widespread concern over new mutations emerging as infection rates are again ticking up around the world, with the highly infectious Delta dominant – especially among the unvaccinated – and in areas where anti-pandemic measures have been eased.

In its latest weekly epidemiological report on Covid-19, the WHO said the Mu variant had a number of mutations that suggested it could be more resistant to vaccines, but stressed that further research would be needed to confirm this.

The global health agency said the worldwide prevalence of Mu had declined to below 0.1 per cent among sequenced cases.
However, in Colombia and neighbouring Ecuador cases had consistently increased and accounted for 39 per cent and 13 per cent of infections, respectively.

Five variants of interest – Eta, Iota, Kappa, Lambda and Mu – are to be monitored.

In a risk assessment early last month, Public Health England said there was no evidence Mu was more transmissible than Delta but its ability to evade vaccine-induced immunity could contribute to future changes.

“The level of threat from such a variant depends on its growth and expansion … In the current context there is no indication that it is outcompeting Delta,” it said.

Government pandemic adviser Professor David Hui Shu-cheong of Chinese University said the Delta variant was of greater concern but it was hard to comment because there was very little information about the Mu type.

Respiratory medicine expert Dr Leung Chi-chiu said the public did not need to be too worried about the Mu type as it was not listed as a variant of concern and had not spread in the community.

“It is only one of the 1,000 variants found across the world,” he said. “Although the Mu variant is found in 39 countries, I cannot see that it has a higher transmission efficiency compared with the Delta variant. We still have to monitor the situation.”

He added that the most effective way to defend the city against the variant still lay in border control measures to prevent local transmission.

“As long as the Mu variant does not get into the community and remains as imported cases, we do not need to worry about it too much,” he said.

Few travellers fly into Hong Kong from Colombia and Ecuador, with barely a handful of passengers making the journey each month, especially now during the pandemic.

The four domestic helpers confirmed with Covid-19 on Friday had flown into Hong Kong on Cebu Pacific flight 5J272 on Wednesday.

The group, aged between 32 and 45, carried the L452R mutation, which is linked to several variants, including the Delta one. Their infections triggered a two-week flight ban against the budget airline until September 16.

Separately, the Centre for Health Protection deleted five previously confirmed cases compatible with vaccine strain contamination, bringing the city’s overall tally to 12,112, with 212 related deaths.

Related Articles

Bermuda Post
Gordon Moore, a co-founder of Intel Corporation, died at 94
In a dramatic U-turn against His Government: Judicial Overhaul Legislation Must Be Halted, Says Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant
Powell: Silicon Valley Bank was an 'outlier'
Donald Trump arrested – Twitter goes wild with doctored pictures
NYPD is setting up barricades outside Manhattan Criminal Court ahead of Trump arrest.
Credit Suisse's Scandalous History Resulted in an Obvious Collapse - It's time for regulators who fail to do their job to be held accountable and serve as an example by being behind bars.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman tours potential migrant housing in Rwanda as asylum deal remains mired in legal challenges
Paris Rioting vs Macron anti democratic law
'Sexual Fantasy' Assignment At US School Outrages Parents
Credit Suisse to borrow $54 billion from Swiss central bank
Russian Hackers Preparing New Cyber Assault Against Ukraine
Jeremy Hunt insists his Budget will get young parents and over-50s back into work
If this was in Tehran, Moscow or Hong Kong
Nashville police officer, and a female driver shooting one another
TRUMP: "Standing before you today, I am the only candidate who can make this promise: I will prevent World War III."
Mexican President Claims Mexico is Safer than the U.S.
A brief banking situation report
Lady bites police officer and gets instantly reaction
We are witnessing widespread bank fails and the president just gave a 5 min speech then walked off camera.
Donald Trump's asked by Tucker Carlson question on if the U.S. should support regime change in Russia?.
'No relation to the American SVB': India's SVC Bank acts to calm depositors amid brand name confusion.
Good news: The U.S. government is now guaranteeing all deposits, held by, Silicon Valley Bank, and the funds are available as of today
Silicon Valley Bank exec was Lehman Brothers CFO
In a potential last-ditch effort, HSBC is considering a rescue deal to save Silicon Valley Bank UK from insolvency
BBC Director General, Tim Davie, has apologized, but not resigned, yet, following the disruption of sports programmes over the weekend
Elon Musk Is Planning To Build A Town In Texas For His Employees
The Silicon Valley Bank’s collapse effect is spreading around the world, affecting startup companies across the globe
City officials in Berlin announced on Thursday that all swimmers at public pools will soon be allowed to swim topless
Fitness scam
Market Chaos as USDC Loses Peg to USD after $3.3 Billion Reserves Held by Silicon Valley Bank Closed.
A primitive judge in Australia sparked outrage when he told a breastfeeding woman to leave his courtroom for being “a distraction"
Barcelona is feeling the heat as they face corruption charges over payments to former vice-president of Spain's referees' committee, Jose Maria Enriquez Negreira
Senator Tom Cotton: If the Mexican Government Won’t Stop Cartels from Killing Americans, Then U.S. Government Should
Banking regulators close SVB, the largest bank failure since the financial crisis
The unelected UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, an immigrant himself, defends new controversial crackdown on illegal migration
Old clip of Bill Gates saying Ukraine is a big, fat, corrupt sinkhole is going viral
Man’s penis amputated by mistake after he’s wrongly diagnosed with a tumour
In a major snub to Downing Street's Silicon Valley dreams, UK chip giant Arm has dealt a serious blow to the government's economic strategy by opting for a US listing
How do stolen goods end up on Amazon, eBay and Facebook Marketplace?
It's the question on everyone's lips: could a four-day workweek be the future of employment?
Is Gold the Ultimate Safe Haven Asset in Times of Uncertainty?
Spain officials quit over trains that were too wide for tunnels...
Don Lemon, a CNN anchor, has provided a list of five areas that he believes the black community needs to address.
Hello. Here is our news digest from London.
Corruption and Influence Buying Uncovered in International Mainstream Media: Investigation Reveals Growing Disinformation Mercenaries
Givenchy Store in New York Robbed of $50,000 in Merchandise
European MP Clare Daly condemns US attack on Nord Stream
Former U.S. President Carter will spend his remaining time at home and receive hospice care instead of medication
Tucker Carlson called Trump a 'demonic force'
US Joins 15 NATO Nations in Largest Space Data Collection Initiative in History