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Localised infection, more affinity for lung tissues: 10 things we know about Delta Plus

The number of Delta Plus cases in India could be higher than what has been reported as many individuals may be asymptomatic.
If affected by the Delta Plus variant, the disease is mild in those who are vaccinated, cases have shown. (PTI)
Published on Jun 27, 2021 10:53 PM IST
Byhindustantimes.com | Written by Poulomi Ghosh

Ludhiana and Chandigarh reported the first case of the Delta Plus virus in the last two days, joining the list of states which have reported this new variant in India so far. Deaths from this variant have also been recorded in the country. Experts have said more study is required to find out more about this variant, but within a week after the variant was classified as a variant of concern, experts have gathered some new information regarding the variant.

Here are 10 things to know about Delta Plus

1. The variant has a greater affinity to the mucosal lining in the lungs, but it does not mean that the virus will affect the lungs more -- more than other variants.

2. The disease is mild in those who are vaccinated. Even a single dose of vaccination has made the variant less severe. A fully vaccinated woman from Rajasthan was affected with the Delta Plus variant. She was asymptomatic and she has already recovered.

3. At present, there are around 50-55 Delta Plus cases identified in the country. The number could be higher as many individuals may be asymptomatic.

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4. It was earlier said the Delta Plus resists monoclonal antibody cocktail therapy, in which antibody is artificially produced in the body. Experts have said that this characteristic does not confirm that the variant will also resist antibodies produced by vaccines.

5. In India, the spread of the infection is localised and sporadic. Some states have reported the variant but it is concentrated in particular areas of those states. So the distribution is not widespread.

6. The variant has been there in the country as early as April. The first sample in which Delta Plus was found was collected in April in Maharashtra.

7. So, it can not be said that the variant is highly transmissible, experts said, as the variant, for the last two months, have not spread beyond 50 cases.

8. The mutant present in Delta Plus was also present in the variant first found in South Africa. It may not prove to be very virulent alone. N501Y and K147N (the mutation present in Delta Plus) together may become immune-escape.

9. The plus in Delta Plus does not denote that this variant is stronger than Delta. It only denotes an addition to the same variant.

10. So far, Delta Plus remains less transmissible than Delta. If the number of cases remains like this, then Delta Plus will not emerge as a dominant variant.

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