Two letters, two digits: AY.4.2. It is the scientific name for a new variant of the delta mutation of the corona virus that is currently being closely monitored by virologists and epidemiologists. “Delta Plus”, also known as mutant, was first discovered in Great Britain. What is so special about Delta Plus? This variant is 10 to 15 percent more contagious than the already prevalent delta type.
Flick contains the answers to the most pressing questions.
Why is Delta Plus more contagious than known mutants?
Delta Plus attaches two mutations in the acute protein of the virus, with which the corona virus attaches to human cells. So far, the two known mutations have not shown any worrying characteristics. However, they are dangerous together.
Does the Delta Plus variant occur in Switzerland?
At Flick’s request, the Federal Public Health (FOPH) announced that the virus variant had also entered the country. “Cases with Delta Plus have been identified since early 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 the PAG, there is currently no reason to re-evaluate the situation. Keep a close eye on the situation with experts from international organizations.
John Fer, 48, an epidemiologist at the University of Zurich, said there was currently no reason to tighten measures. “But existing measures must continue to be implemented. If there are signs that Delta-Plus is significantly more contagious, we must act quickly. The Delta variant is more decisive than it first appeared,” Fehr told Flick.
Do Moderna and Biontech / Pfizer vaccines provide protection against the virus?
Yes, apparently vaccines 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 widespread?
In the UK, this week saw about six per cent of all random samples. This is due to the Delta Plus variant as the number of deaths and cases in the UK has risen again. However, since this happens very rarely, this result is not possible.
This variation has so far occurred in the United States, Russia, Israel, and Austria. Someone in Israel in particular is listening to this news with great interest. Prime Minister Naphtali Bennett (49) announced “rapid action” in the fight against the virus.
When will Delta Plus get its own name?
So far, Delta Plus has not received its own name from the Greek alphabet. According to “Built”, this occurs only when a variance is classified by the World Health Organization as variance of concern (VOC) or variance under surveillance (variance of interest, VOI).