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NEWS & ANALYSIS

COVID Variant ‘Mu’ With ‘Potential to Evade Antibodies’ Found in 49 States


As the Delta variant continues to surge around the country, a new mutation has been detected in 49 states and 42 countries. 

The “Mu” variant was first identified in Colombia in January and was added to the World Health Organization’s list of “variants of interest.” 

Now, 49 states – as well as Washington D.C. – have detected Mu’s presence, Fox News reports. Nebraska is the exception. 

States with a higher estimated presence of the variant include Alaska and Hawaii, though the variant has only been detected in less than 1 percent of samples. 

On Sunday, Fauci said that the Mu variant showed mutations that “indicate that it might evade the protection from certain antibodies.” He also said the variant is “not an immediate threat.” 

California recorded the highest number of samples containing the Mu variant, with at least 384 cases. As of September 3, Los Angeles County health officials announced 167 cases between June and August, with the bulk sequenced in July. 

“The Mu variant is found to have key mutations linked to greater transmissibility and the potential to evade antibodies,” Los Angeles County Public Health said in a statement. “More studies are needed to determine whether Mu variant is more contagious, more deadly or more resistant to vaccine and treatments than other COVID-19 strains.”