FACT FINDERS: There’s a new variant of COVID-19

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 6:47 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The World Health Organization declared a new COVID-19 variant, and it’s showing possible signs of resistance to vaccines.

It is called Mu. This COVID variant was first documented in Colombia in January. The World Health Organization says it is mutated in a way that shows potential properties of immune escape, meaning it may have the ability to evade immunity from a previous COVID infection or vaccination.

Dr. Sean Elliott with Tucson Medical Center says it is still too early to know for sure how dangerous Mu really is.

”We don’t know a whole lot about Mu variant and its vaccine and its vaccine avoidance. Very similar to Delta when that first emerged those same questions were raised and it’s a matter of getting to a point where there are sufficient patients to be studied with Mu variant before they can answer that question,” said Dr. Elliott.

We now have five variants of interest: Eta, Iota, Kappa, Lambda, and Mu. On a higher threat level, we still have four variants of concern: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta.

Dr. Elliott says Mu cases may be sporadic across the country but he does not know of any reported cases in our area.

For now, his main concern is still Delta as he says that is accounting for roughly 90% of the cases we are seeing here.

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