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This COVID variant may be 10% more transmissible than delta

What is the AY.4.2 variant?

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The delta variant of the coronavirus.

Experts are worried about the AY.4.2 variant, which is a variation of the coronavirus delta variant.

Illustration by Alex Cochran, Deseret News

Scientists are worried that a COVID-19 variant similar to the delta variant might be more transmissible.

Per Business Insider, the delta variant subtype — called AY.4.2 — has been infecting people throughout England in recent days, worrying experts.

The U.K. has seen a small rise in COVID-19 cases lately, and many believe that the cases are rising because of a variation of the delta variant, according to The South China Morning Post

Francois Balloux, the director at the University College London Genetics Institute, tweeted Saturday that the AY.4.2 variant could be 10% more transmissible than the normal delta variant, which is AY.4.

  • “As such, it feels worthwhile keeping an eye on it,” he said.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, had similar comments about this delta subtype, calling it “delta plus.” He said there needs to be more research into the variant.

  • “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.”