Cases driven by the delta variant are still on the rise, but now health officials are starting to closely monitor another variant called the mu variant.
Its mutations are raising concerns that it may be more resistant to COVID-19 vaccines. According to Outbreak, a Scripps Research website, the mu variant has spread to 49 states, including Washington state.
UW Medicine’s virology labs handle the bulk of COVID-19 genetic sequencing in the state.
Researchers said the way the mu variant mutated has scientists paying close attention.
“There are a couple of mutations that have been shown in other studies to be associated with either increased transmissibility, or immune escape. So that’s one of the reasons why it is concerning,” said Pavitra Roychoudhury, an instructor with UW Medicine’s lab medicine and pathology department.