Health

What is the delta-plus variant of the coronavirus?

What is a Delta Plus Option?

It is a relative of the delta variant identified by British scientists last month.

Since this is not an option of interest or concern, it has not yet been formally named after a letter of the Greek alphabet like other worrisome options.

Scientists are tracking a delta-related variant known as AY.4.2. – to see if it can spread more easily or be more deadly than previous versions of the coronavirus. In a recent report, UK officials said the option represents 6% of all COVID-19 cases analyzed in the country and is “on a growing trajectory.”

The variant has two mutations in the spike protein, which helps the coronavirus to enter the cells of the body. These changes have also been seen in other versions of the virus since the start of the pandemic, but have not gone very far, said François Balloux, director of the Institute of Genetics at University College London.

The delta option remains “by far the most dominant option in terms of global spread,” Maria Van Kerkhove, World Health Organization’s COVID-19 technical lead, said in a public meeting this week.

“Delta dominates, but delta is evolving,” she said, adding that the more the virus circulates, the more chances it has of mutating.

The UN health agency is currently tracking 20 delta variants. “AY.4.2 is worth keeping an eye on because we have to keep an eye on how this virus is changing,” said Van Kerkhove.

In the United States, the delta variant is the cause of almost all cases of COVID-19. The newer “delta plus” variant has been spotted “from time to time,” but that is not yet a concern, health officials said.


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