December 7, 2021

Image credit: BBC

Covid-19: A new Delta variant mutation is being closely monitored in the United Kingdom

Officials are keeping a close eye on a new descendant of Covid’s Delta variety that is causing an increase in infections.

Although Delta is the most common form in the UK, the most recent official data indicates that 6% of Covid cases that have been genetically analysed are of a novel variety.

AY.4.2, dubbed “Delta Plus” by some, contains changes that could help the virus survive longer. Tests are being conducted to determine how serious of a threat it may pose.

The categories attributed to variants and the level of risk associated with them are not yet deemed a variant of concern or a variant under research. Covid is available in thousands of distinct varieties – or variants – all over the world. Viruses are always evolving, so it’s not unusual to see new forms appear.

In May 2021, the UK categorised Original Delta as a variant of concern after it surpassed the Alpha version to become the most common form of Covid in circulation.

Since then, this Delta offshoot or sublineage has been progressively growing. It contains certain novel alterations that impair the spike protein, which is used by the virus to invade human cells.

So far, there’s no evidence that these alterations have made it significantly more transmissible, but experts are looking into it.

“It’s something we’re keeping a very close eye on it.  you could think, we’re keeping a close eye on it and will not hesitate to intervene if required. Stated by the Prime Minister’s official spokesman.”

A few cases have also been discovered in the United States. There have been some in Denmark, but new AY.4.2 infections have since decreased.

In the UK, booster doses of the Covid vaccination are already being offered to high-risk adults ahead of the winter season to ensure that they are fully protected against coronavirus. There is no indication that a new vaccination update will be required to defend against any of the existing pandemic virus strains.