New COVID-19 variant emerges, doctors call it ‘delta plus’

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A new coronavirus variant has emerged in places such as Europe and Canada, and scientists worry it spreads even faster than the delta variant. They have dubbed the new mutation ‘delta plus’ because it’s said to be 10% more transmissible than the original delta strain currently dominating the globe.

Health authorities are particularly concerned because delta plus has evolved in a way that allows it to better infect human cells.

“This so-called delta plus variant has a couple of different mutations on it that make it a little more easy to be infected and perhaps easier to overcome a vaccine,” Dr. Christopher Doehring of Franciscan Health told News 8. “Both of these (spike) mutations we’ve seen in other variants, just not in the same strain. So seeing both in the same strain is novel and it is a difference — and it does seem to confer a little bit higher contagiousness.

Doehing says that while the variant is circulating in Europe and Canada, there is no evidence it has emerged in the United States. Still, he says it’s a mutation we’ll want to keep an eye on as the coronavirus continues to evolve.