As delta variant cases surge, metro researchers are keeping an eye on a new variant

ATLANTA — Doctors and medical professionals are keeping an eye on the Mu variant of the COVID-19 virus. The Mu variant is now in all 50 states. There have been about 100 cases detected in Georgia so far.

Even though the World Health Organization has labeled it a variant of interest because of concerns it could potentially infect even with vaccines so far.

“I try to shop when there are no crowds. So I’m conscious of what’s out there,” said Marguerite Crowe.

Crowe has been very careful during the Delta variant surge. There are some signs as COVID-19 case numbers begin to drop in Georgia that this fourth surge may have peaked.

Dr. Felipe Lobelo, physician Director Epidemiology Kaiser Permanente Georgia says they’re closely monitoring the Mu variant and others like C12.

So far the CDC hasn’t labeled Mu as a variant of interest in the U.S., and cases are too few to know how it affects people.

“The question is whether it comes down quickly or staying in a high-level plateau of cases and hospitalizations. It’s really going to depend on again things like Labor Day, school transmissions and so on,” said Lobelo.

Lobelo says they saw a slight rise in cases a week or so after Labor Day. They are now keeping watch on whether cases will continue to drop.

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“So far we haven’t seen yet in the CDC data — in the surveillance data -- an increase in the proportion of new cases that makes us think that mu is going to overpower Delta,” said Lobelo.

Lobelo says they’re seeing signs the Delta variant may be dying down even after the busy Labor Day holiday. He says they saw a slight uptick a week after the holiday but Monday in Georgia the COVID testing positivity rate was 12.3%. The lowest since early August.