If it was so easy and simple. “Delta plus” is the new variant of coronavirus, that is storming across the county and causing a rise in COVID-19 cases
Its name “delta plus” reveals that the variant has undergone an upgrade to become more dangerous. But little is known about this variant and its mutations, health experts say it’s not spreading efficiently in the U.S. now and American’s shouldn’t panic because there’s not much to worry about.
“It’s a name that’s trending,” said the section head of microbiology Dr. Daniel Rhoads, at the Cleveland Clinic. “When you hear ‘delta plus’ or any of these names of new variants of coronavirus, that means the virus is evolving with us,” but there’s no evidence that shows this new variant of coronavirus should be concerning.
“Delta Plus Variant” Is The New Variant Of Coronavirus Created Due To Mutations.
Daniel Rhoads said, “ The mutations to the original delta variant created the new “delta plus” strain, which is classified as AY.1 by scientists. It was initially alarming because it contained a particular mutation, which affects the virus’s spike protein.
Most of the COVID-19 vaccines, authorized in the U.S. use the spike protein to build the body’s immune system. The body creates antibodies that recognize the spiked protein of the coronavirus when it enters the body and attacks to protect us against the virus.
Rhoads said It is said that the spike protein is a vital part of the virus because that’s what it responds to when we develop antibodies but we have no idea what exactly the mutation does.
Another variant of the delta variant also contains this mutation. Theoretically, a mutation to the spike protein can affect the way vaccines work and provide overall protection against the coronavirus.
So far, the “delta plus” variant does not seem to be dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the delta variant makes up more than 90% of coronavirus cases in the U.S., but it is not harmful. The AY.1 and AY.2 variants had many opportunities to spread.
An epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, William Hanage said “If something has a number of mutations but it doesn’t start taking off, then it is not a problem”. “Everyone is obsessed with vaccine escape mutations. What’s more, scarring is we don’t have an idea how quickly it transmits and spreads. When you look at AY.1 and AY.2, there are few delta cases, and not increasing either.”
According to the CDC, the AY.1 and AY.2 variants accounted for only .1% and .8% of total delta cases from July 18 to 31. While the other sublineage of the delta variant called AY.3 made up 9.1% of cases.
Although the health experts aren’t concerned about the delta plus variant yet, they say continuous transmission gives the virus the potential to create a variant that’s more contagious and dangerous. Americans should get vaccinated and start wearing masks in areas of high or substantial transmission to stymie spread to avoid such variants.