A descendant of the delta variant has been discovered in the United Kingdom, which has been christened AY4.2. Scientists believe that the new mutation is even more contagious than the delta variant itself.
According to the first research results, it is “the most contagious coronavirus strain since the start of the pandemic.” The variant would already account for 10 percent of British infections and be 10 to 15 percent more contagious than the original delta variant.
The last news asked virologist Marc Van Ranst to shine his perspective on the ominous messages from across the Channel. “At the moment it is not yet clear what we should really think about it”, says Van Ranst. “It concerns a ‘Variant of Interest’ within the delta variant, not yet a ‘Variant of Concern’. Every country is checking it now.”
Van Ranst assumes that the vaccines simply work against AY4.2. And besides: you can’t stop such a variant anyway. “There’s no point in fearing the arrival of a new large variant such as delta, because that just happens,” says Van Ranst. “That is the most normal thing in the world. Viruses that don’t evolve are doomed to disappear. It is their trademark, that they are constantly changing. However, most changes lead to nothing. Then they disappear again. Other changes lead to less fitness and those variants will certainly disappear. Still other changes lead to more fitness and those variants will eventually survive.”Bron (nen): HLN