State Health Leaders Concerned With New COVID-19 Variant

Tuesday, September 14th 2021, 6:45 pm
By: Erica Rankin


The Mu variant has been confirmed in 39 countries, including the U.S., and right here in Oklahoma where the Oklahoma State Department of Health has identified 13 cases.

"As if it wasn't bad enough," said Dr. Mary Clarke, the president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association. "We have another variant. We knew we would, variants are not going to go away. The most concerning we have now is Mu."

According to OSDH, there have been 13 instances of this variant identified in the state. One at the end of May, five in June, six in July and only one in August.

Despite these numbers being low, Clarke said we probably don't have the full picture due to not enough testing being conducted. Which means only a small number of positive tests can be sequenced at the state's public health lab.

Clarke said the biggest concern with the Mu variant, labeled as a variant of interest by the World Health Organization, has been the possibility for it to evade the vaccine. But she said it needs to be studied more because right now it is too soon to tell.

"Mu is coming up over the ranks over time and we are following that," said Clarke.