Covid-19: what is this new Delta subvariant that is spreading in the United Kingdom?

the essential A new sub-variant of Delta, “AY4.2”, is spreading in the United Kingdom. London has announced “to monitor very closely” its development.

“We are watching very closely.” In the UK, a new and particularly contagious Delta sub-variant is spreading, “AY4.2”. “We will not hesitate to take action if necessary” said the spokesperson for Dowing street in the face of the appearance of this new sub-variant.

Despite the significant contagiousness of the Delta variant which tends to rule out new strains, “AY4.2”, worries about a much stronger transmissibility. However, nothing is established yet.

The UK has nearly 139 000 dead from Covid – 19, and today faced with a growing number of positive cases. It exceeds 40 000 per day, the incidence rate is therefore much higher than in France. A degradation which would be due to the weak vaccination of minors, as well as to the decrease in the immunity of the first vaccinated. The lifting of a major part of the restrictions in July, such as wearing masks indoors, is also questioned by scientists.

The new variant not responsible for the ‘increase in cases

The new variant “is not at the origin of the recent increase in the number of cases in the United Kingdom” according to François Balloux epidemiologist and director of the Institute of Genetics at University College London.

Its emergence on English territory “does not constitute a situation comparable to the emergence of the Alpha and Delta strains which were much more transmissible (50% or more) than all the strains in circulation at the time “, for the researcher. Apart from three cases in the United States and a few isolated cases in Denmark, the new variant hardly exists outside the United Kingdom.

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