Scientists, Health Care Experts Research New COVID-19 Variant Called Mu

Friday, September 3rd 2021, 4:34 pm
By: Kelsey Kernstine

A new COVID-19 strain is making its way around the world, and it's called Mu.

Dr. Douglas Drevets, OU Heath’s chief infectious disease specialist, said at least four cases of Mu have been reported in Oklahoma and more than 2,300 cases have been reported across the United States.

"This variant seems to have originated in Colombia, South America,” Drevets said.

According to research, Mu was first identified in Jan. 2021.

Unlike, the Delta strain, the Mu variant is currently a variant of interest, meaning there's specific genetic changes that could make it more transmissible.

However, Delta is a variant of concern, which means there's evidence it's more contagious and or severe.

“The symptoms would be very, very similar to already what we are seeing,” Drevets said.

Those symptoms include a fever, cough and/or loss of taste and smell.

"This virus and many other viruses are designed to mutate. That's how they survive in the environment. HIV mutates even faster than coronavirus, but yet, we've been able to be successful with HIV with some successful medications," Drevets said.

Drevets stressed the importance of getting vaccinated.

"Get vaccinated, because it does protect you," he said.