A new delta subvariant of COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in the UK but could lead to fewer symptoms.
According to Bloomberg, the new delta sub-variant accounts for about 12% of all collected samples collected in recent weeks.
- That’s a daily growth of 2.8% for the October 19 to November 5 variant.
- That said, “the new subvariant seemed less likely to cause symptomatic COVID,” Bloomberg said.
- However, experts told Bloomberg it’s too early to say whether this subvariant makes people less sick.
Its sub-variant – called AY.4.2 – has been making headlines lately about how fast it’s spreading in Europe. As I wrote for Deseret News, the variant is reportedly 10% more transmissible than the original delta variant, which was already more transmissible than previous variants of the new coronavirus.
Christina Pagel, director of the Clinical Operational Research Unit at University College London, told CNBC there is no reason to be concerned about the variant yet.
- “Delta was about 60% more transmissible compared to alpha, doubling every week,” she said. “This is going up a percent or two a week — it’s much, much slower. So in that sense it’s not a big disaster like Delta was. It’ll probably gradually replace delta over the next few months. But there’s no sign of it vaccine is more resistant, (so) at this point I wouldn’t panic about it.”
But dr. Scott Gottlieba, the former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has called on researchers to study the variant more as a way to prevent mass spread in the U.S.
- “We urgently need research to find out if this delta plus lake is transmissible, has partial immune evasion,” Gottlieb said in a tweet.
- “There is no clear evidence that it is significantly more transferable, but we need to work on characterizing these and other new variants more quickly. We have the tools.”