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The dangerous mu variant has reached almost every state in the country

The coronavirus variant known as mu has been making its way throughout the country

A photo of the virus that causes COVID-19.
This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the virus that causes COVID-19.
NIAID-RML via Associated Press

The mu variant of the coronavirus has already started to spread in the United States, raising concerns about what might happen if it becomes widespread.

What is the mu variant?

World Health Organization said at the beginning of September that it is monitoring the mu variant, which could have mutations that would allow it to evade vaccines.

Where is the mu variant?

Per Newsweek, 49 states have seen a case of the mu variant so far. Nebraska is the only state that has not detected a case of the variant. Otherwise, at least one case has been detected in each state.

California has seen the most amount of cases with 384 cases so far, according to Newsweek.

  • “The identification of variants like Mu, and the spreading of variants across the globe, highlights the need for L.A. County residents to continue to take measures to protect themselves and others,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of LA County Public Health said in a statement. “This is what makes getting vaccinated and layering protections so important. These are actions that break the chain of transmission and limits COVID-19 proliferation that allows for the virus to mutate into something that could be more dangerous.”

Per The Los Angeles Times, the mu variant has been found in at least 167 people so far in Los Angeles County.

  • These cases emerged over the summer in Los Angeles County.
  • It was first detected in L.A. County back in July.

It’s not just California, but Texas, too. At least 50 patients had the mu variant at Houston Methodist Hospital, one of the biggest hospitals in the city, per Click 2 Houston.

  • “We had our first case of mu back in May,” said Dr. Wesley Long, medical director of diagnostic microbiology at Houston Methodist and a clinical pathologist, according to Click 2 Houston.
  • “Once the WHO declared that this would be the mu variant, we went and looked and saw that we had had a few cases here and there dating back all the way till May,” Long said.

Should you worry about COVID-19 variants?

Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health, tweeted that he doesn’t think the mu variant will develop into a widespread variant because the delta variant has already moved quickly through the U.S.

  • “I don’t lose sleep over new variants,” Jha wrote. “I worry about people’s fatigue with the current one.”