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Mu variant found in Pima County

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 6:49 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The mu variant of the coronavirus has been found in Pima County according to health officials.

T-gen, which does variant sequencing for the health department discovered the cases nearly three weeks ago.

“When I report there were two mu’s reported last Thursday (Sept. 2), they weren’t taken from samples taken in the past five days,” said Pima County Health Director Dr. Theresa Cullen. “They were sample taken a week or two before that.”

What that means is, the variant is likely spreading quietly much like the delta variant did when it first appeared in Pima County last May, when there were only two reported cases.

“Is this comparable to what we saw with delta,” Cullen asked. “A lot of it will depend on what we see as the transmissibility of mu and I don’t think we know enough right now about that.”

Little is known about the mu variant except it was first discovered in Colombia and may be more resistant to the present vaccines than the delta variant.

At this point, it does not seem to be as transmissible but that isn’t known for sure.

“I think we’re going to have to see,” she said. “When it becomes a variant of interest, it means we pay attention. “When it becomes a variant of concern, everything gets raised.”

Right now, national health officials consider the mu variant as a “variant of interest.”

It has now been found in 49 states.

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