Coronavirus: Mu variant has been detected in Ohio

COLUMBUS — The COVID-19 Mu variant has been detected in almost every state—including Ohio, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center said Thursday morning.

The World Health Organization last month listed it as a “variant of interest” because of concerns it may make vaccines and treatments less effective, though more evidence is needed.

As of this morning they were unable to provide an exact number of people infected with the variant—but say that Delta variant is still the most infectious variant.

Ohio Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff said the Mu variant has been detected at “very, very low proportions” and described it as being “mere fractions of a percent” of the state’s cases.

>> What is the mu variant of the coronavirus?

Health leaders said they are monitoring the Mu variant and the vaccine effectiveness against it, but added that vaccines are still the best defense against it.

Vanderhoff said it is not practical for each person to know which variant they have, but said “you can safely assume that your infection this time is a result of the Delta variant”

The state uses a process called sequencing to get the bigger picture of what variants are prevalent in the state. That process is only able to be done on PCR COVID-19 tests and not antigen tests, Vanderhoff said.

OSU doctors estimate that Delta is over 99 percent of other variants in the county—and the main variant putting patients in the hospital.

According to the Ohio Hospital Association, there were 3,147 people hospitalized due to COVID-19 in the state of Ohio.

Vanderhoff said the data from OHA reflects a 22 percent growth of hospitalizations across the state in just one week.