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Mu variant becomes coronavirus strain of interest in Arizona

Virus Outbreak Britain Genome
Posted at 9:30 PM, Sep 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-11 00:30:28-04

The ‘mu’ variant has made its way into Arizona, though the delta variant remains the dominant strain in the state.

Dr. Joshua LaBaer with ASU tells us this variant is currently a variant of interest, not a variant of concern.

At least-- not yet.

“We should be prepared at least to some extent for mu, but more importantly in general,” he told ABC15.

That’s because, he says, as long as people keep getting infected, it is inevitable that another variant will surface.

“Sooner or later there will be, mathematically, another variant that comes along and it will be both transmissible and evade the immune system,” he added.

Even though the mu variant isn’t dominant in Arizona, Dr. LaBaer says that doesn’t mean it can’t spread.

“The virus is able to infect even people who have been vaccinated, to some degree. They’re what we call the breakthrough cases,” he told ABC15.

He says before all the variants, folks with a vaccine would be protected, tenfold and now they are seeing breakthrough cases.

“We’re seeing now that there’s enough breakthrough cases..that ratio is about five to one. Something that he says puts kids, the fastest-growing demographic for COVID-19 contraction, more at risk,” said Dr. LaBaer. "That young age group is where it’s spreading very rapidly, partly because the kids are in school probably, and because there isn’t as much mask-wearing.

He also says the fact that some aren’t old enough to get the vaccine is also a contributing factor.

Here’s what he says is the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your family.

“We should get vaccinated. When we’re indoors and in close quarters, we should wear masks. And then, of course, maintain social distancing where you possibly can,” he added.