By Reena Bhardwaj
Washington [US], June 16 (ANI): The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now called the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus, also known as B.1.617.2, a "variant of concern".
According to the agency there is 'mounting evidence' that the Delta variant, which was first reported in India, shows increased transmissibility, potential reduction in neutralisation by some monoclonal antibody treatments under emergency authorisation and potential reduction in neutralisation from sera after vaccination in lab tests.
Earlier, the CDC had considered the Delta variant to be a variant of interest. It also underscore delta to be 50 per cent faster than the Alpha variant, thus making it two times faster than original COVID 19 strain.
The severity of the Delta strain is far more severe than any other variant, including a 2.5 time higher risk of hospitalisation than the Alpha variant found in the UK first. Overall the strain found in India increases the risk of hospitalisation by four folds as compared to the original.
The variant of concern designation is given to strains of the virus that scientists believe are more transmissible or can cause more severe disease. Vaccines, treatments and tests that detect the virus may also be less effective against a variant of concern.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) classified the Delta variant as a variant of concern on May 10. A study on the Delta variant in Scotland published on Monday found that it was associated with about double the risk of hospitalisation compared with the Alpha variant, B.1.1.7, that was first identified in the UK.
As America bounces back to life and eases restrictions, experts are flagging concern as some say that the COVID-19 delta variant can "take us back to square one" if not careful.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden on Monday (local time) urged Americans who have not yet gotten vaccinated against the coronavirus to do so as soon as possible, pointing that the country has lost nearly 600,000 lives lost domestically from the infection.
On Tuesday (local), America has crossed the milestone of 60 lakh coronavirus deaths. (ANI)