Here’s what is known about the offspring of the delta variant that could be more contagious

The British Government confirmed on Tuesday that it “closely follows” the appearance of a “descendant” of the delta variant of the coronavirus, which could be between 10 and 15% more transmissible, which is already twice as contagious as the original SARS-CoV-2.

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Experts have called it “AY.4.2” and warn that its frequency has increased in the United Kingdom And it could now be responsible for almost 10% of COVID-19 cases, two experts have explained to the Financial Times (FT) newspaper.

Its prevalence, they added, is increasing rapidly, but not as fast as the first delta did after moving from India to this country earlier this year.

This “new lineage of SARS-CoV-2” is “descendant” of the delta variant (B.1.167.2) and “has two characteristic mutations” in protein S, “Y145H” and “A222V”, which could offer to the virus advantages to survive, Francois Balloux, one of the two experts cited by the FT, pointed out in the Science Media Center publication.

If the preliminary tests are confirmed, the “AY.4.2” could become the variant of the coronavirus most infectious since the pandemic began, said Balloux, director of the Institute of Genetics at University College London.

“But we must be cautious at this time. The United Kingdom -precise- it is the only country in which it has taken off in this way and I would not yet rule out that its growth is due to a fortuitous demographic event “.

However, it is “likely” that the World Health Organization (WHO) classifies it as a “variant under investigation,” so it would then assign it a letter from the Greek alphabet, Balloux said.

Still, he asked not to “panic”, because although it could be “slightly more transmissible”, it will not be “something as disastrous as what we have previously experienced.”

Meanwhile, an official spokesman for the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, stressed today that the authorities follow “very closely” its evolution and assured that “we will not hesitate to take the necessary measures.”

Source: EFE

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