The British Government confirmed this Tuesday that it “closely follows” the appearance of a “descendant” of the variant Delta of the coronavirus, which could be between 10 and 15% more transmissible than this, which is already twice as contagious as the original SARS-CoV-2.
Experts have called it “AY.4.2” and warn that its frequency has increased in the Kingdom United, where it could now be responsible for almost 10% of cases of Covid-19, as explained by two experts to the newspaper Financial times (FT).
Its prevalence, they added, is increasing rapidly, but not as fast as the first Delta did after going from India to this country earlier this year.
This “new lineage of SARS-CoV-2” is “descendant” of the Delta variant (B.1.167.2) and “has two characteristic mutations” in protein S, “Y145H” and “A222V”, which could offer the virus advantages to survive, noted in the publication Science Media Center Francois Balloux, one of the two experts cited by the FT.
The yellow lights turn on before this variant
If preliminary tests are confirmed, “AY.4.2” could become the most infectious variant of the coronavirus since the pandemic began, he said. Balloux, Director of the Institute of Genetics at University College London.
“But we must be cautious at this time. He Kingdom United “It is the only country in which it has taken off in this way and I would not rule out that its growth is due to a fortuitous demographic event”.
However, it is “likely” that the World Health Organization (who) classifies it as a “variant under investigation,” so it would then assign it a letter from the Greek alphabet, Balloux said.
Still, he asked not to “panic”, because although it could be “slightly more transmittable”, it will not be “something as disastrous as what we have previously experienced.”
Meanwhile, an official spokesman for the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, stressed today that the authorities follow “very closely” its evolution and assured that “we will not hesitate to take the necessary measures.”
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