A New COVID-19 Strain More Infectious Than Delta?


After the Delta strain wreaked havoc on the world, a potentially faster-spreading “sub-lineage” of this deadly strain has been spotted. This new variant named AY.4.2 has been spotted in at least eight states across the United States and other countries, including the UK and a few European countries. Is this new COVID-19 strain more infectious than Delta? Let’s find out.

Due to its highly infectious nature, this subvariant has drawn the attention of several health authorities across the globe. Many labs in the USA and UK say they are investigating a growing share of cases from this coronavirus strain.

Strain AY4.2:

The new AY4.2 is a descendant of the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2. The strain was first spotted in Asia, and now it is spreading rapidly in England, possibly causing a high rate of infections in the United Kingdom. According to a researcher’s claim, the new strain is around 10% more transmissible than its original variant. Some of the key highlights of the strain are:

  • Two mutations distinguish the new subvariant in its spike protein, called Y145H and A222V
  • However, it is unlikely to cause significant increases in transmissibility or help the virus evade the immune system

Do the mutations make the virus more transmissible?

It is still unclear if the mutations make the new strain more transmissible or capable of evading any immunity induced by vaccination. Experts claim that the recent surge in the spread of the variant could result from a number of factors, including local health measures, social distancing, and public adherence to coronavirus containment measures.

Should you continue to wear a mask?

Yes, wearing a mask is highly recommended when you are in public places. Follow the CDC’s new mask guidelines and continue wearing a mask as needed.

Will the COVID-19 vaccination work against the new AY4.2?

There is no evidence that the new strain skips the immunity induced by COVID-19 vaccinations. Most COVID-19 vaccinations help minimize severe illnesses and reduce hospitalization and fatalities. Infectious disease experts strongly suggest getting vaccinated and taking boosters as needed.

By Chitra Goel

Courtesy of Axiom Medial

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