New ‘Delta Plus’ variant found in NC, 7 other states; could spread faster than original Delta variant

A new form of the COVID Delta variant that could potentially spread faster has been seen in North Carolina, according to CBS News.

It has been named AY.4.2 but also referred to as “Delta plus” and has been found in laboratories in the following states:

  • California
  • Florida
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • Rhode Island
  • Washington

Health authorities in the District of Columbia have also reported at least one case of AY.4.2.

The new strain is being investigated by health authorities in the UK, who say they have seen a growing amount of cases.

Delta plus does not cause more serious illness and current vaccines are effective against it.

A small proportion of COVID cases in the United States over the past many weeks have been linked to Delta Plus, and U.S. health authorities are working to study it.

“We have teams that are constantly reviewing the genetic sequence data and looking for blips, an increase in a certain percentage or just something that is completely new,” said Dr. Summer Galloway, Executive Secretary of the US Government SARS-CoV-2 Interagency Group.

Galloway says Delta Plus poses a very low risk to public health in the United States and should not have a significant impact on the effectiveness of vaccines.

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