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A new variant is catching the eyes of health experts

"By people not getting vaccinated, not masking then what happens is that more people get sick, the virus multiplies, and it has more mutations," said Jain.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The MU variant, which may be able to evade the vaccines, is under close watch by health experts. This variant hasn't taken off like the delta variant, but it is present in almost all 50 states. 

However, the World Health Organization has added this strain to its 'variants of interest' list, and Mid-South Infectious Disease Doctor Manoj Jain said it's something to keep a close eye on.

"Every time we have a mutation it causes a greater level of concern because it can either transmit more easily or it can evade the vaccine," Jain said.

Here is what we know about the MU variant so far:

  • it was first reported in Columbia back in January
  • it's been reported in all states except Nebraska
  • it has not been reported in Shelby County
  • and it is likely more transmissible than the original coronavirus strain.

"The greatest problem is, and the reason we're getting these mutations we don't understand is because there is so much circulation of the virus," He said. "By people not getting vaccinated, not masking then what happens is that more people get sick, the virus multiplies, and it has more mutations."

Jain said the fast-spreading delta variant remains the most concerning coronavirus strain despite the emergence of the mu variant. He wants to remind people to get vaccinated because delta is the most transmissible strain, and nearly 100% of cases are the delta variant.  

"This is not a reason not to get the vaccine," he said.

Jain said getting vaccinated will protect you from serious diseases and death related to the delta variant and will ultimately stop this virus from spreading rapidly.