COVID-19 variant ‘Delta’ spreads across 80 countries, WHO reports

COVID-19 variant 'Delta' spreads across 80 countries, WHO reports

The World Health Organization first classified the Delta COVID-19 variant as a variant of interest until last May.

Scientists and experts first identified the Delta COVID-19 variant in December 2020, in India. It then became the most prevalent strain in the country that caused the surge earlier in April.

It was not until later in May, though, when the World Health Organization reclassified it as a variant of concern. Since then, the strain has spread across the globe, causing worries among health officials.

On Wednesday, officials from the WHO noted that it has now reached more than 80 countries, according to NBC News.

The Delta COVID-19 variant continues to spread

Reports said that health officials were worried that the Delta COVID-19 variant accounted for more than 6 percent of all the new cases in the U.S. last week. But, it has now become more prevalent, and increased its accountability to 10 percent to date.

Dr. Anthony Fauci warned that they cannot let it become the dominant strain in the country. This comes after the variant now makes up more than 60 percent of new cases in the United Kingdom. As it happened, the Delta variant has already surpassed the country’s native Alpha variant.

Studies show that the strain is more transmissible than others, and causes more severe symptoms. But, the health agency emphasized that these conclusions remain inconclusive. Accordingly, they need more research to confirm the findings.

The Delta COVID-19 variant continues to spread

The likelihood of infections surge

The Chief Medical Advisor to the U.S. President continued that countries with the Delta COVID-19 variant should be watchful. He reportedly warned that it should be a concern, considering that the likelihood of a surge of infections is high.

This is especially true if the country “does not have a substantial proportion of their people vaccinated,” according to Medical News Today. Fauci, then, claimed that the variant spreads among those who have yet to receive their COVID-19 vaccine shots. “It can become dominant very, very quickly,” he stated.

A new variant identified in 29 countries

Now, apart from the apparent spread, the World Health Organization also said that the Delta variant continues to mutate, as well. Reports said that the agency is tracking the “delta plus” variant, which is an additional mutation.

The day prior, the same agency classified the Lambda lineage as another global variant of interest. This comes after it reportedly showed an “elevated prevalence” in South America.

Times of News said that the scientists first identified that COVID-19 variant in Peru. It has now spread across 29 countries, centering on Peru, Chile, Ecuador, and Argentina.

Images courtesy of Vox/YouTube

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