The good news is that the Delta plus variant, the sub-variant of the Delta technically named “AY.4.2”, has nothing to do with the boom in infections in UK, where it represents just the 6% of cases sequenced in the last week. The bad, indeed bad, is that perhaps we have not yet seen the real effects of a particularly aggressive and even more contagious variant of the dominant strain. In other words, we could be at the start of an even more massive fourth wave of cases.
The Corriere della Sera recalls how the new Delta was first identified in Britain in July, with 15,120 confirmed cases so far. The strain is officially “under investigation” by the British Health Security Agency, which is trying to shed light on whether and how much it is transmissible or pathogenic than the Delta. And if above all, this is the real nightmare and the heaviest unknown, “may evade immunity induced by vaccines – underlines the He would run – although at the moment there is no evidence that it affects the efficacy of vaccines or therapies “.
The Delta plus variant has also spread to Denmark (2%), Germany, Russia, Israel, United States and also Italy, where 86 cases have been identified so far. According to experts, however, for the moment the situation “is not comparable to the appearance of the much more contagious Alfa and Delta variants”. The confirmation would come from the United Kingdom, given that although it has been present for months it has not yet become dominant.
Jeffrey Barrett, director of the Covid-19 Genomics Initiative at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in Cambridge, e Francois Balloux, director of the University College London Genetics Institute, explain that AY.4.2 “appears to be 10 to 15% more transmissible of Delta, but the data are too preliminary and there are still no published studies that can support this hypothesis “.