The Mu variant of COVID-19- which scientists fear could be more transmissible than Delta – has now been detected in all U.S. states with the exception of Nebraska.
Los Angeles County reported close to half of the California cases with 167.
The new cases however only reflect 0.2 percent of total variant samples from the state of California between June and August.
The Mu variant has been detected in 49 U.S. states, except Nebraska, with Florida and California having the highest numbers of the virus with 384 cases
Alaska previously had the most with 146 variant cases, four percent of the state’s sample size
Dr Anthony Fauci responded to the Mu variant claiming that it will not be the next dominant strain, despite the variant potentially become more transmissible and vaccine resistant
Alaska previously had the highest number of Mu variant cases with 146. That represented four per cent of all cases recorded in the isolated state.
Other U.S. states have also shared their Mu numbers, with 42 in Maine, 73 in Connecticut and 39 in Hawaii, according to Newsweek.
The Mu variant- which was identified in Colombia in January – has spread to 41 different countries including the United States, and is also feared to potentially be vaccine-resistant.
The variant became of interest due its potential to become more transmissible and vaccine resistant as discovered by the World Health Organization on August 30.
This chart shows California COVID infections – amid fears the Mu variant could case a fresh spike
Florida’s rocketing cases, pictured, could also spiral further if Mu takes hold
The CDC, however, has not shared this analysis.
Director of LA County Public Health Barbara Ferrer said in a statement: ‘The identification of variants like Mu, and the spreading of variants across the globe, highlights the need for L.A. County residents to continue to take measures to protect themselves and others.
‘This is what makes getting vaccinated and layering protections so important. These are actions that break the chain of transmission and limits COVID-19 proliferation that allows for the virus to mutate into something that could be more dangerous.’
Dr. Anthony Fauci also commented on the Mu variant claiming that it would not be the next dominant COVID strain.
‘Even though it has not in essence taken hold to any extent here we always pay attention to at all times variants,’ he said.
‘We don’t consider it an immediate threat right now.’
What is the variant ‘Mu’ or B.1.621?
Where have the cases been detected?
This mutant strain was first spotted in Colombia in January.
It has since spread to more than 40 countries including the UK, US, France, Japan and Canada.
Is it increasing in prevalence?
There have been 4,000 cases detected to date, but this is thought to be an underestimate because many countries that have suffered outbreaks do very little surveillance for variants.
The number of cases blamed on the variant declined globally last month, amid the spread of the Delta strain.
In Colombia — where it was first detected — it is still behind around six in ten infections.
Can the strain dodge vaccine triggered immunity?
The variant carries the mutation E484K, which can help it escape antibodies.
This change is also found on the South African ‘Beta’ variant and Brazilian ‘Gamma’ variant.
A PHE study previously suggested it could make vaccines less effective. But UK health chiefs said more research was needed.
The variant has been further described by Fauci as ‘a constellation of mutations that suggest that it would evade certain antibodies, not only monoclonal antibodies, but vaccine and convalescent serum- induced antibodies.’
The peak of Mu variant cases were present in mid-July and have been declining since.
However, the fear is that the variant will strengthen again in the future.
The nation has eclipsed an average of 1,500 COVID-19 deaths per day, the first time the mark has been reached in six months – since the vaccination drive began in earnest.
Figures from Johns Hopkins University released early Tuesday showed that the US has recorded 40,018,318 cases of COVID since the pandemic began, with 647,072 people known to have lose their lives as a result.
When the 1,500 figure was last reached in March, though, the vaccines were not as widely available as they are now.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also reports that deaths increased by 131 percent in August compared to previous months.
COVID-19 cases are also 300% higher this year when compared to last year’s labor day weekend – before any vaccines were available.
Hospitalizations nationwide have spiked as well, with August having double the amount of COVID-19 patients admitted than June did.
The rise in deaths corresponds with a rise in hospitalizations.
More than 102,000 American are hospitalized with the virus, and 75 percent of hospital beds nationwide are currently in use.
Nationwide, the U.S. has recorded over 40 million COVID-19 cases and 648,000 deaths from the virus, the most of any nation in the world in both categories.