Los Angeles County officials said they detected their first cases of the “Mu” COVID-19 variant. The cases were found between June and August, officials said, with the majority found throughout July. “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,” Barbara Ferrer, the county’s public health director, wrote in a statement Friday. “This is what makes getting vaccinated and layering protections so important.”
The World Health Organization recently classified the variant, which originated in Colombia, as a “variant of interest.” It has made up more than 2,000 cases across the U.S., including in New York, Texas, and Florida, per The Washington Post. Little is known about the differences between Mu and other variants. Dr. Anthony Fauci said Thursday that the variant “has a constellation of mutations that suggests that it would evade certain antibodies,” but that he would need to see clinical data to determine its characteristics.