the newest surge in COVID-19 infections is fueled by the highly contagious delta variant first identified in India late last year. Now, a variation of that variant is starting to generate headlines. Here’s what we all know about the COVID sub-strain being called delta plus.
The delta plus variant is analogous to the prevailing delta variant except that it’s a spike protein mutation called the K417N. Spike proteins are external bumps the virus uses to hook onto human cells. The delta plus mutation is that the same one previously identified on the beta variant. consistent with the Washington Post, some experts believe delta plus might be even more contagious than the now dominant delta variant, but there’s no widespread consensus thereon conclusion at now.
To date, relatively few delta plus cases are sequenced, but it’s been detected within us, also because the UK and India, consistent with the Washington Post. On Tuesday, South Korea announced it had identified its first two cases of delta plus, consistent with Reuters. one among those cases is reportedly a traveler coming back from us.
American researchers told the Post that it’s still too early to work out whether this delta plus variant could prove more vaccine-resistant or contagious than the prevailing delta variant. Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky recently confirmed just what proportion more contagious delta is compared to the primary strain that caused the first wave of worldwide infections.
“If you get sick with the alpha variant, you’ll infect about two other unvaccinated people,” she said. “If you get sick with the delta variant, we estimate that you simply could infect about five other unvaccinated people — quite twice as many because of the original strain.” Last week, the CDC reversed course on masks, recommending that even vaccinated people again mask up indoors in areas where the virus is on the march, now most of the country.
The immediate reason was a report by disease detectives of a recent outbreak in Provincetown, Mass. The delta variant was responsible and a majority of these infected had been vaccinated. Although only a few vaccinated people got sick enough to be hospitalized, the initial findings showed vaccinated people with breakthrough infections were carrying about the maximum amount of virus as unvaccinated people. In all, there have been quite 4 million new COVID-19 cases reported globally within the last week, driven mostly by spikes within the Middle East and Asia.