LOS Angeles County health officials are continuing to monitor coronavirus variants as highly transmissible strains have been detected in the region.
To date, the most dominant variant continues to be the delta variant, while the Mu variant is being closely monitored.
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has identified 167 Mu variants in the county. The specimens were sequenced between June 19 and Augusts 21, with the majority of Mu specimens sequenced in July, it said in a release.
Mu was first identified in Colombia in January 2021 and has since been reported in 39 countries. The World Health Organization labelled variant Mu, lineage B.1.621, as a variant of interest on August 30, 2021. The Mu variant is found to have key mutations linked to greater transmissibility and the potential to evade antibodies. More studies are needed to determine whether Mu variant is more contagious, more deadly or more resistant to vaccine and treatments than other COVID-19 strains.
“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. This is what makes getting vaccinated and layering protections so important. These are actions that break the chain of transmission and limits COVID-19 proliferation that allows for the virus to mutate into something that could be more dangerous,” Public Health director Barbara Ferrer said in a statement.
On Monday, September 7, the Public Health department reported 1,540 new COVID-19 cases and 11 additional deaths. Meanwhile, 1,480 people are hospitalized with the virus.
Health officials are continuing to encourage residents who are eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
encourages everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated. Anyone 12 and older living or working in LA County can get vaccinated against COVID-19. Many vaccination sites across the county, including all the County-run sites, are also offering third doses of vaccine to eligible immunocompromised people. Vaccinations are always free and open to eligible residents and workers regardless of immigration status.
Residents can visit www.VaccinateLACounty.com to find a vaccination site and make an appointment. For those who don’t have internet access, can’t use a computer, or are over 65, they can call 1-833-540-0473 for help finding an appointment, connecting to free transportation to and from a vaccination site, or scheduling a home-visit if they are homebound. n