COVID-19: New Delta Variant AY.4.2 Rapidly Spreads Across Europe, Asia

New Delhi: Fresh cases of COVID-19 have been reported from several European and Asian nations due to the Delta variant’s new strain being dubbed as AY.4.2 or “Delta Plus”.

With the Delta strain still remaining a dominant variant, the AY.4.2 delta sublineage is spreading rapidly. It includes spike mutations A222V and Y145H giving the virus survival advantages. It was noted by the UK Health Security Agency in its latest report.

As of now the AY.4.2 variant is potentially a marginally more infectious strain; no clear indication that it is considerably more transmissible than the Delta variant; and it is not a big threat like Alpha and Delta variants.

“Delta remains the predominant variant… a Delta sublineage newly-designated as AY.4.2 is noted to be expanding in England. It is now a signal in monitoring and assessment has commenced,” according to the report.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesperson said on Tuesday that the government is keeping a “very close eye” on rising COVID-19 infections.

Meanwhile, according to a BBC report, the country is conducting tests to understand the magnitude of threat this new variant poses. However, experts believe that this variant is unlikely to take off in a big way like the Alpha and the Delta variants, or that the new variant could escape the current vaccines.

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