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New COVID-19 Variant: ‘Delta Plus’ 15% More Contagious, Cases Found in the US

Maine Reports Spike In COVID-19 Cases And Deaths (Photo: Niels Bohr Institute)

Israel’s Health Ministry said Delta Plus, an offshoot sub-variant of the COVID-19 Delta variant, seems more infectious than the original strain. The new COVID-19 sub variant AY.4.2. is at least 15 percent more contagious than the classic Delta variant. 

According to a Times of Israel report, experts have yet to prove that the Delta Plus sub-variant is dangerous or more likely to evade vaccines than the original variant.

 

Firefighters And Police Officers joined Thousands In March Against City Vaccine Mandate (Photo: AP)

Delta Variant Still More Transmissible Than Original Strain

consensus statement made on June 2, 2021 pointed out that the original Delta variant is 60 percent more transmissible than the Alpha version. The Alpha variant was 50 percent more infectious than the COVID-19 strain that originated in China.

Experts discovered the Delta Plus variant for the first time in the United Kingdom, where it currently accounts for six percent of all COVID-19 infections.

New Variant Found in the United States

Outbreak.info said the experts found this subvariation in six of the 53,884 COVID-19 samples sequenced as of Monday in at least five states in the United States. Experts found the Delta Plus subvariant in sequenced samples from California, Washington, D.C., Washington state, and North Carolina, including Massachusetts. 

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Health officials now described the subvariant as a “variant under investigation.” The U.S. health experts are currently monitoring this very closely.

New Version Not Taking Off That Much In U.S. Compared to the UK

On NBC’s Meet the Press, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, said a few cases have been in the United States. But it has not taken off in the country yet as it has in the United Kingdom.

According to Walensky, the variation features multiple mutations on the spike protein that have yet to be linked to greater transmissibility or lower vaccination or treatment efficacy.

Delta Plus Sub Variant Will Not Reverse Infection Reduction in the U.S.

University of North Carolina epidemiologist Justin Lessler said the new Delta Plus subvariant might not undo the current infection reduction rate in the United States.

Even with a considerably more transmissible variant than delta-plus, Lessler said in an NPR  report that cases did not return to the peaks seen last winter or those found in the delta wave.

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