Fears over the COVID-19 variant delta plus have ramped up due to reports of rising COVID-19 cases in the United Kingdom.

Per The South China Morning Post, the U.K. has seen a major jump in COVID-19 cases as of late. In fact, the U.K. had its highest daily jump in cases Sunday compared to mid-July. There’s concern that the cases might be tied to the delta plus variant

Could ‘delta plus’ kill the delta variant?

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said in a recent tweet that there’s a need to be “urgent research” into the delta plus variant to make sure there’s no concern.

  • “We need urgent research to figure out if this delta plus is more transmissible, has partial immune evasion,” Gottlieb said in a tweet. 
  • “There’s no clear indication that it’s considerably more transmissible, but we should work to more quickly characterize these and other new variants. We have the tools.”

Multiple reports from the last few months suggested that the delta plus variant won’t be more transmissible than the regular delta variant.

Andrew Read, a Pennsylvania State University professor who studies the evolution of infectious diseases, told Business Insider that the delta plus variant might be an isolated variant that spreads locally as opposed to catching on nationally or globally.

  • “It doesn’t terrify me anymore, really, than delta, he said.
  • “It could be that it’s several independent events that are spreading locally,” he said.