The mu variant of COVID-19 has surfaced in all states in the U.S. except for Nebraska.
There have been 384 mu variant cases reported in California, with 167 of them in Los Angeles County. Florida has the second-highest mu cases at 305, reports the Washington Examiner.
Alaska had the most mu instances until recently, with 146 persons testing positive for the variation.
Mu accounted for 4% of the state’s sample size, owing to its tiny population of 730,000 people.
In January, the strain was discovered in Colombia, and it has since been found in 42 nations. For the time being, though, the delta variety poses the bigger threat.
“What delta has done and why it has superseded all other variants is because it really has acquired this ability to be so transmissible. I understand people definitely are worrying about the mu variant or looking at it, but it just epidemiologically hasn’t managed to replace delta [in terms of transmissibility],” said Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease specialist at the University of California, San Francisco.
On Aug. 30, the World Health Organization designated mu as a variant of interest, citing “a constellation of mutations that indicate potential properties of immune escape,” as well as the fact that the strain, which was first discovered in Colombia in January, has now been found in more than 40 countries. Despite being found in virtually every state, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not classified the variation as one of interest or concern.
The administration is keeping a watch on the variant’s evolutionary route, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Joe Biden’s senior medical advisor, who stated last week that mu is not a “immediate concern.”
According to Gandhi, the coronavirus will evolve into more transmissible forms, but this will not happen forever. This is because an increasing number of people will develop immunity as a result of the vaccination or naturally aquired immunity. Furthermore, the evolutionary nature of viruses prevents each mutation from becoming more deadly than the last.
Gandhi stated, “It’s just not in their interests.” adding “If anything, they’re going to mutate to become less virulent and more transmissible, and the mu variant does not show us that. We’re not convinced that it’s more virulent … Probably, delta is it. This is the variant that’s going to probably be the worst we have in terms of transmissibility.”
Nonetheless, hospitals in hotspot areas have seen an increase in mu variant cases recently. More than 50 confirmed mu variant cases have been recorded since May at Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas, one of the nation’s first health institutions to implement a coronavirus vaccination compulsion that resulted in the resignation or firing of more than 150 employees. However, Dr. Wesley Long, a clinical pathologist and the medical head of diagnostic microbiology at Houston Methodist, emphasized that delta is still the No. 1 enemy variation.
“Outside of Colombia, Mu may not be a very big deal,” Long tweeted last week. “Similar to [lambda variant] in Peru / South America, and [gamma variant] in Brazil.”
In Los Angeles County, where COVID-related hospitalizations have surged 12% in the last two weeks, the mu strain has also been linked to 167 new COVID-19 cases. Although the number of new cases has decreased, infection levels remain high enough that people are now obliged to wear face masks in public indoor venues such as public transit, office buildings, and retail outlets.
According to the GISAID Initiative, which promotes the rapid sharing of data, such as genetic sequencing from all influenza viruses and the coronavirus mutations causing COVID-19, Mu remains a more pressing health issue in Colombia, where it has made up 87.5% of cases in the past four weeks, compared to.2% in the United States. Delta still accounts for more than 99% of instances in the United States.
Dr. Ashish Jha, the dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, stated in a tweet over the weekend, “Worried about the Mu variant?… Don’t.” “While we are still learning, doubt [the mu variant will] displace Delta. And our vaccines should hold up fine. I don’t lose sleep over new variants. I worry about people’s fatigue with the current one.”