Detected for the first time in the United Kingdom, this new mutation of the COVID 19 virus has already reached the United States.
Officially it is known as AY.4.2, but colloquially it has been called Delta Plus, a new subtype of the COVID 19 virus, which in the United Kingdom already represents 6% of the cases that have been genetically sequenced. The fact is of particular concern due to the increase in the number of issues.
ACCORDING TO ITS ACRONYM IN ENGLISH, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) has confirmed that this subtype has already been detected in the United States. However, there are still no concrete figures about how many cases have been found or where exactly.
At the moment, it is too early to know if this mutation is more contagious than Delta (which in turn is known to be considerably more virulent than the original virus) or its possible resistance to vaccines. But preliminary reports indicate that it could be 10-15% more contagious than traditional Delta.
The World Health Organization has listed the original Delta variant as problematic at the end of last May. However, this remains the predominant variant worldwide.
But the UK Health Security Agency published a report stating that "the expansion in England of a Delta sub-lineage recently designated as AY.4.2 "has been observed. This variant includes spike mutations that the coronavirus uses to enter cells. So as the number of cases in that country grows, some believe that in part, it could be treated by the appearance of this new variant. In the last week, between 40 and 50 thousand new cases have been registered a day.
Now the identification in the United States is added, with a process of surveillance by the federal health authorities. If there were also an increase in cases with the Delta Plus variant in the North American country, this would probably cause the World Health Organization to classify it as a variant under investigation to identify if it has genetic changes that affect transmissibility severity of infections or diagnosis.
"In particular, the AY.4.2 variant has attracted attention in recent days. Sometimes we have identified this sub-lineage here in the United States but not with an increase in frequency or grouping so far, "said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, at a press conference.
More than half the population has already been immunized against the virus in countries like the United States or England. But over the months, the immunity seems to go down. That is why it is likely that there will be more and more cases of new infections.
In other countries, the situation is even more difficult. According to the organization Our World in Data, only 3% of the population has been immunized in the world's poorest countries.
Israel and Russia have also reported cases of this sub-variant, although they do not speak of an outbreak yet. Continental Europe has not yet made any statements on the matter.