Mu Variant Present in All 50 States After First Case Reported in Nebraska

James Goydos, M.D.

As the world continues to grapple with the novel coronavirus, the virus continues to mutate. Throughout the pandemic, several genetic variants of SARS-CoV-2 have emerged. The US government SARS-CoV-2 Interagency Group (SIG) has developed a classification scheme to designate four separate classes of variants: Variants Being Monitored, Variants of Interest, Variants of Concern, and Variants of High Consequence. Variants are classified based on their ease of spread, the severity of their symptoms, and how they are treated.

To date, no variants of high consequence have been identified in the United States. However, several other variants have been identified, including multiple variants of concern. The Delta variant one of these, and is currently sweeping the nation and countries worldwide, making it one of the most common variants. As of August 2021, the Delta variant constituted approximately 93% of all coronavirus cases in the United States.

While the United States is undergoing a wave of Delta cases, other variants are quietly popping up on the radar, including the Mu variant. Mu, the newest of several SARS-CoV2 variants, has now been identified in Nebraska. Nebraska marks the final state in the United States to record a case of the variant. To date, the variant is now in every state in the country.

While much is still unknown about the mutation, including its potential resistance to existing vaccines, it is being monitored. The mutation is currently considered a “variant of interest” (VOI) by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is still relatively rare in the context of all coronavirus cases, but it is becoming more commonplace in states such as California and Florida. California has currently reported the highest number of Mu cases in the country, with Florida a close second. Cases are also high in New York, Alaska, and Texas, relative to the United States population.

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James Goydos is an expert in skin cancer with a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) from Rutgers, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Goydos is a Board Certified Surgeon specializing in Surgical Oncology. Recognized for his leadership in patient care by the Melanoma Research Foundation and The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, James Goydos is a leading expert in his field with over 20 years of experience as a professor, surgeon, and clinical trial leader in the area of cancer research. He is a National Cancer Institute (NCI)-funded investigator. Many of his collaborative laboratory discoveries have been translated into clinical trials for patients with melanoma. James Goydos is the author or co-author of more than 80 peer-reviewed publications, review articles, book chapters, and published abstracts. He currently serves on the editorial board of the journal Clinical Cancer Research.

New Brunswick, NJ

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