COVID-19 mu variant found in Maryland. Here’s what you need to know.

The Delta variant is still the dominant strain of COVID-19 circulating in Maryland and across the country, but the new “mu” variant has made a small appearance here in recent weeks.

The World Health Organization identified the mu variant – which, like other COVID-19 variants, was named with a letter in the Greek alphabet – as a “variant of interest” on 30 August.

Although more research is still needed, the WHO reported last month that the mu variant has some properties that may make it more resistant to COVID-19 vaccines.

Is the mu variant in Maryland?

Karen Maynard, a laboratory researcher, prepares COVID-19 samples for genome sequencing at the Tennessee Public Health Laboratory in Nashville, Tenn., Tuesday, September 14, 2021.

Yes, but only in very small numbers.

Since Sept. 15, Maryland has detected 56 cases of the mu variant through genetic sequencing, according to the State Department.

That’s a small fraction of the total new COVID-19 cases in Maryland. The Delta variant accounted for more than 97% of all COVID-19 cases sequenced in the past month, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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