Houston Methodist confirms around 50 cases of mu variant

Houston Methodist Hospital has confirmed to FOX 26 they have about 50 cases of the mu variant.

Last week, the World Health Organization identified the mu variant as a new variant of interest. The delta variant is classified as a variant of concern.

Houston Methodist Hospital reports the mu variant was first detected in May.

"We're actually pulling some data now, and it's sometimes hard to draw conclusions with such a small number of patients," said Dr. Wesley Long, Medical Director of Microbiology, Houston Methodist.

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The delta is still making up nearly all of the cases at Houston Methodist. Dr. Long says the mu variant appears similar to the lambda variant. 

Both were first documented in South America - lambda in December and mu in January.

"Looking at the time they've had to spread and the lack of spread would make me hypothesize that these variants, although they're concerning and have certainly problematic for the countries where they are dominant, probably don't have what it takes to overtake the juggernaut that is the delta variant," Dr. Long added.


Dr. Long says the hospital is still gathering the data on the patients with the mu variant but stresses the way to protect yourself from COVID-19 remains the same.

"The vaccine and masking and distancing are still our best defense regardless of what variant we're talking about," he concluded.

READ MORE: COVID-19 variant mu detected in 49 states