Tampa Bay doctor weighs in on delta plus variant and if you should be concerned

Coronavirus

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — There’s growing concern surrounding the coronavirus delta variant, and now, there are reports about a delta plus variant.

The delta plus variant is similar to the existing delta variant except that it has a spike protein mutation called the K417N. Spike proteins are external bumps the virus uses to hook onto human cells. The delta plus mutation is the same one previously identified on the beta variant.

Dr. John Greene at Moffitt Cancer Center says the delta variant is trying to mutate as it passes through people, and as it’s trying to mutate, it’ll occasionally produce a strain potentially more contagious than itself known as delta plus.

“We have constant virus evolution going on, it’s changing constantly,” Dr. Green said. “It’s trying to become even more contagious which allows it to survive and spread even better.”

News of this variation comes as the CDC reports the Delta variant caused more than 90% of recent COVID- 19 cases in the country.

The CDC also says the Delta variant is more contagious than previous strains.

Austin Goldammer is fully vaccinated. But he says hearing about this latest variant is concerning.

“Yeah, it’s still scary, you got to be safe, careful,” Goldammer said. “With the different variants coming out, we’ve had for a year so I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon.”

Dr. Greene says right now, there’s no evidence that delta plus is going to take over and become even more transmissible. 

“Right now if this thing was so much more contagious, then why is it not becoming the dominant strain, and we don’t think right now it’s going to be the dominant strain but only time will tell,” Dr. Greene said.

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