British medical experts have said that there is a new mutation of the Covid-19 delta variant that is being closely monitored.
The delta variant sublineage newly designated as AY.4.2 has been increasingly identified in a rising number of cases. Last Friday, a report was issued by the U.K Health Security Agency noting that the Delta variant sublineage is expanding across England and is being monitored.
The U.K Health Security Agency noted that “This sublineage is currently increasing in frequency. It includes spike mutations A222V and Y145H. In the week beginning 27 September 2021 (the last week with complete sequencing data), this sublineage accounted for approximately 6% of all sequences generated, on an increasing trajectory. This estimate may be imprecise … Further assessment is underway”.
What they are saying
The official spokesman of the Prime Minister told the press, ”the AY.4.2 is something we’re keeping a very close eye on” and that there’s currently no evidence to suggest that this variant is more easily spread.
Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the U.S. FDA also commented on the subtype saying, “U.K. reported its biggest one-day Covid case increase in 3 months just as the new delta variant AY.4 with the S:Y145H mutation in the spike reaches 8% of UK sequenced cases. We need urgent research to figure out if this delta plus is more transmissible, has partial immune evasion?”
A Professor of immunology at Imperial College London, Danny Altmann, has also said that the subtype of the Delta Variant needs to be monitored and carefully controlled.
He commented on the latest development stating the importance of monitoring data closely because according to him, “delta has now been the dominant mutant in several regions for some six months and not been displaced by any other variants, the hope has been that delta perhaps represented [the] peak mutation performance achievable by the virus. AY.4 may be starting to raise doubts about this assertion”.
Furthermore, Medical experts say a variety of reasons can be responsible for the U.K.’s steep Covid numbers, some of which are the half-hearted enforcement of mandatory mask adoption in large indoor gatherings and perhaps waning immunity in people who got vaccinated over 6 months ago.