A new COVID-19 variant has been found in 49 U.S. states. The variant has also been found in four dozen other countries.

Known as the “mu” variant, this strain of the disease could potentially be more transmissible than the delta variant and could be vaccine-resistant, according to health officials.

Almost four hundred mu cases were detected in California, making it the state with the highest number of this latest variant, and 167 of those cases were in L.A. county.

“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,” Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of L.A. County Public Health, said in a statement. “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.”

The World Health Organization named the mu variant a variant of interest on August 30, stating that this strain seems to be more transmissible than any other COVID-19 variant.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the mu variant is “not at all even close” to becoming the dominant COVID-19 strain in the U.S., adding that health officials are, nonetheless, keeping a “close eye” on it.

“Even though it has not in essence taken hold to any extent here we always pay attention to at all times variants,” Fauci stated.

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