Two letters, two numbers: AY.4.2. This is the scientific name for the new variant of the delta mutation of the coronavirus, which virologists and epidemiologists are currently watching closely. “Delta Plus”, as it is also called a mutant, was first discovered in Great Britain. What distinguishes Delta Plus? The delta variant is 10 to 15 percent more contagious than the already highly contagious delta variant.
Blick has answers to the most pressing questions.
Why is Delta Plus more contagious than known mutants?
Delta Plus combines two mutations in the skeletal protein of the virus with which the coronavirus attaches itself to human cells. So far, the two known mutations have not shown any worrisome properties. However, it looks dangerous.
Is there a Delta Plus variant in Switzerland?
At the request of Blick, the Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) announced that the virus variant had also found its way into this country. “Cases with Delta Plus have been identified since the beginning of September,” BAG confirms. However, there are only a few cases.
How do experts and FOPH assess the effects of Delta Plus on the epidemiological situation in Switzerland?
According to BAG, there is currently no reason to re-evaluate the situation. Watch the situation carefully with experts from international bodies.
Infection scientist Jan Fehr (48) from the University of Zurich currently sees no reason to tighten the measures. But current measures must be implemented consistently. If there are also signs that Delta-Plus is significantly more contagious, we need to act quickly. And more decisively than when the delta variant first appeared,” Fehr tells Blick.
Do Moderna and Biontech/Pfizer vaccines offer protection against the variant?
Yes, vaccines also appear to reliably protect against Delta Plus. According to the BAG, there is no evidence that “approved vaccines against this subtype are less effective”.
In which countries is Delta Plus particularly popular?
In the UK, the variant was found in about six percent of all random samples this week. As deaths and the number of cases increase in England again, this is attributable to the Delta Plus variant. However, because it is so rare, this conclusion is somewhat unlikely.
The variant has also occurred in the USA, Russia, Israel and Austria so far. In Israel in particular, one hears this message with great concern. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, 49, announced “faster measures” in the fight against the virus.
When will Delta Plus get its name?
Until now, Delta Plus has not received its name from the Greek alphabet. According to Bild, this only occurs when the World Health Organization classifies a variable as a variable of concern (VOC) or a variable under observation (variable of interest, VOI).
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