The Delta coronavirus variant, with a dramatic transmission advantage over the Alpha variant that emerged in the UK, threatens global plans for dispatching COVID-19, Reuters reports. Details:
- Delta is estimated to be 60% more transmissible than Alpha, Neil Fergusson of Imperial College London.
- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has warned the June 21 full reopening date may have to be pushed out because of Delta’s rapid spread.
- A third wave of infections in the UK could lead to a hospital case surge similar to the winter’s devastating second wave, but it’s not clear if deaths will spike because nearly 3 in 4 adults have at least 1 shot.
Delta isn’t just sparking concerns in the UK:
- It’s well-positioned to strike other countries in Europe, said the WHO’s Hans Kluge because many over 60 still have not yet been vaccinated,ABC News reports.
- In the US, the variant already accounts for more than 6% of viruses being sequenced, making the need to be vaccinated even more urgent, US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy told CNN.
The Big Worry: Delta is the most transmissible variant yet known, and it can evade some of the body’s defenses generated by vaccination or natural infection, STAT reports.