More than 80 countries around the world have been affected by the Indian variant of Wuhan pneumonia (novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19), Delta, and a more infectious Delta Plus has emerged, with 200 confirmed cases in 11 countries.
The official name of Delta Plus is B.1.617.2.1 or AY.1, and the first case was detected in India in April this year; the Indian government said it had submitted information on the strain to the global database and had also sent samples for genetic identification. The U.K. was the first country to report on the Delta Plus study, which was released on June 11, stating that the country’s health department genetically sequenced the first confirmed case of Delta Plus on April 26, showing that the virus has been prevalent since spring.
To date, Delta Plus has emerged in 11 countries with a cumulative total of 200 confirmed cases, affecting Canada, India, Japan, Nepal, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, the United States and China.
In response to the characteristics of the virus, the Indian Ministry of Health said that according to studies, Delta Plus is more infectious and also tends to affect lung cells, which may reduce the effectiveness of monoclonal antibody therapy. However, Indian experts believe that it is too early to consider the virus a “serious threat” and that it will be watched closely “We are tracking it carefully while strengthening all public health measures.
As to whether the vaccine is effective in preventing Delta Plus, experts believe there are not enough samples and evidence to make a definitive statement, but Julia Deng, a professor of respiratory science at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom, warned that the variant could give the strain “significant vaccine escape characteristics.