Meet the new COVID-19 variant, Mu

Although Dr. Fauci said Mu is not an “immediate threat right now,” the government is “keeping a very close eye on it.” The variant was “not at all even close to being dominant,” as the delta variant remains the cause of over 99 percent of cases in the country.

So what is the Mu variant?

  • In January 2021, health officials discovered the variant in Columbia.
  • According to the WHO, the variant exists in more than 39 countries, including the United States, South Korea, Japan, Ecuador, Canada and parts of Europe.
  • In the United States, officials have recorded cases in: California, Florida, Texas and New York, among others.
  • The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) said in a statement to The Post on Thursday that 348 cases associated with mu had been reported in the state so far and that it would continue “to monitor all variants circulating in the state.”
  • Los Angeles County health officials say there has been 167 cases reported thus far.

Will the vaccines protect us against Mu?

  • Short answer: It’s unclear.
  • WHO said in a statement it may be more resistant to coronavirus vaccines than other variants. “But this needs to be confirmed by further studies,” it added.
  • Dr. Fauci stated “that while laboratory data had shown that the mu variant can evade certain antibodies — among them those induced by vaccine shots — there is currently a lack of clinical data and other research involving people that shows this. He underscored that in general, vaccines remain effective and the best protection against the coronavirus.”
  • Paúl Cárdenas, a professor of infectious diseases and genomics at Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador, said that based on recent evidence, the variant appears “more transmissible” than the original coronavirus strain.

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