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A New 'Delta Plus' Variant Is Spreading & The WHO Worries That It's Even More Infectious

It's the third "Delta plus" variant out there and it's in dozens of countries.

Senior Global Editor
A New 'Delta Plus' Variant Is Spreading & The WHO Worries That It's Even More Infectious

Doctors are getting worried about yet another COVID variant.

A new variant of a COVID-19 variant is showing up more often in tests around the world, and there are concerns that it might be even more infectious than Delta.

This version of the coronavirus is a "sub-lineage" of Delta called AY.4.2, according to the World Health Organization, and it might spread more quickly than the original.

It's one of three "Delta plus" variants so far and the WHO had this to say about it in their COVID update published on October 26: "An increase in AY.4.2 sequence submissions has been observed since July."

That "increase" amounts to about 26,000 reports from 42 different countries — 93% of which is coming from the U.K.

Lab tests have also spotted it in several parts of the U.S., including California, Florida, Washington State, D.C. and Massachusetts, CBS News reports.

This new Delta plus version seems to have two mutations in the spike protein, which is the part of the virus that allows it to infect healthy cells. Lab studies are underway to find out if it's more transmissible or if antibodies would have a harder time blocking it.

Still, experts say AY.4.2 will not make you any sicker than Delta and that vaccines still work against it.

Doctors have said many times that vaccines are the best way to prevent new variants from taking hold, since coronaviruses are more likely to mutate when they're allowed to spread freely among unprotected people.

In other words, the best way to keep the Delta plus-plus-plus variants away is to get your doses of vaccine. Like, today.

Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.

    Josh Elliott
    Senior Global Editor
    Josh Elliott is a Senior Editor for Narcity’s Global Desk focused on celebrity interviews and is based in Toronto, Ontario.
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