Panic has stricken over the new Delta Plus variant, also called AY.4.2, it was earlier detected in the UK back in July. State Officials recently confirmed its presence in New York and California. Experts maintain that it appears to be an adaptation of the ‘Delta Variant’. According to CDC, it caused an insurmountable number of fatalities, as it spread quickly as compared to other variants.
It has been detected in 5 patients in New York and one each in San Francisco and San Diego Counties. The AY.4.2 seems to be ‘steadily increasing in England’, as shared on Twitter by, Jeffrey Barrett, director of the COVID-19 Genomics Initiative at the Wellcome Sanger Institute.
He also pointed that this variant had a ‘consistent advantage’ over other sub-lineages of the Delta variant. Yet it did not spread like wildfire like the Delta variant did to replace the Alpha variant, the Expert added.
However the strain is still being observed in various geographies to come to identify a pattern, and concrete analysis of its characteristics is still being evaluated by scientists, Jeremy Kamil, a virologist at Louisiana State University Health Shreveport, told STAT News.
Dr. Amesh Adalja, the senior scholar at Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told the media, “New variants are generated all the time,”.
“That’s the normal thing that this virus is going to do. It’s going to continue to mutate. While variants may garner headlines and people may write doomsday scenarios about them, most are not going to really change the trajectory of the pandemic.”
It is also speculated that it is just that New York and California have a higher rate of testing than other States, therefore the new variant has been detected there sooner.
“If you look at where this virus is being reported as most prevalent, it’s in England. Why? It’s because they do better sequencing than anyone else in the world,” Krogan a molecular biologist at the University of California, San Francisco said.
On the issue of prevention, “The solution to the variants is the vaccine,” Adalja said, adding, “if people want to be less scared of the variants, the solution is to have people vaccinated so there are fewer variants generally.”