Experts keep a watchful eye on Delta subvariant
Known as the AY 4.2, this subvariant is causing a surge in cases in the UK
Health experts in
The AY 4.2 belongs to the family of B.1.617.2 which caused the high number of cases during the second wave. Over 96 per cent of the samples that reported the AY 4.2 were sequenced in UK and 1 per cent in Germany and Denmark and has been reported even in Israel and
Dr Vishal Rao, Member of
In the last genomic sequencing done, more than 1,300 samples sequenced were reanalysed for the presence of AY 4.2, and so far, no AY 4.2 sub-variant has been found so far.
Though the mutations are less in AY 4 (variant of Delta), it does not mean we can relax as it can transform faster
–Dr Vishal Rao
Dr Rao added: “Now, the AY 4.2 is like a grand-son of the Delta variant found in UK. It is too early for us to celebrate that number of covid cases are low as data currently shows that virus is still mutating. Though the mutations are less in AY 4 (variant of Delta), it does not mean we can relax as it can transform faster. The AY 4.2 has already constituted 10 per cent of the cases in UK, and hence in Karnataka, we are being cautious.
“It is crucial for us to understand that there is a race between the vaccine and variant. Faster the vaccine succeeds; lesser the variants.”
Dr Rao pointed out that transmission-appropriate behaviour (where inoculation is key) is more important than covid-appropriate behaviour. “Till December, it will be a trial by fire as