The variant now accounts for 10% of all new cases in the United States, up from 6% last week. Studies have shown that the variant is even more transmissible than the other variants. WHO officials said some reports have found it to cause more severe symptoms as well, but more research is needed to confirm these findings.
WHO is also following recent reports of a “delta plus” variant. “What I think this means is that there is an additional mutation that has been identified,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO COVID-19 technical manager. “In some of the delta variants, we’ve seen one less mutation or one deletion instead of one more, so we’re looking at all of that. “
The UK recently saw the delta variant become the dominant strain there, overtaking its native alpha variant, which was first detected in the country last fall. Delta variant now accounts for over 60% of new cases in UK
Dr.Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the president, said last week that ‘we can’t let this happen in the United States’ as he pushes for more people to be vaccinated, especially young adults. .
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday named the delta variant as a variant of concern in the United States. WHO identified the delta variant as a variant of concern in early May.
The WHO also added another Covid mutation, the lambda variant, to its list of variants of interest on Tuesday. The agency is monitoring more than 50 different variants of Covid, but not all of them become a sufficient threat to public health to be on the official WHO watch list. The lambda variant has multiple mutations in the spike protein that could impact its transmissibility, but more studies are needed to fully understand the mutations, Van Kerkhove said.
The lambda variant has been detected by scientists in South America, including Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Argentina, thanks to increased genomic surveillance.