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Delta Plus COVID variant identified in VI

Delta Plus COVID variant identified in VI

Acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Roland E. Georges on December 24, 2021, announced that of a batch of 24 COVID-19 samples sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for genetic typing, one of the samples was identified as the Delta Plus variant.

This came as the territory confirmed 143 active cases of COVID-19 as of December 24, 2021, in a virus spike attributed to Delta.

Acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Dr Roland E. Georges on December 24, 2021, announced that of a batch of 24 COVID-19 samples sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for genetic typing, one of the samples was identified as the Delta Plus variant.


'Delta Plus' in dozens of countries


Since early November 2021, the “Delta Plus,” has emerged as another variant causing alarm, having first been identified in Europe in March 2021.

The Delta Plus variant is also known as B. 1.617.2.1 or AY.1 and have has been followed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) since July and is now present in dozens of countries.

Most of the cases have occurred in the UK; however, it only represented in about 6% of cases in October with AY.1, along with AY.2 and AY.4.2 strains interchangeably called Delta Plus.

The good news is that there is no evidence that the delta offshoot is resistant to the vaccines with one Infectious disease expert, Kristin Englund, MD, indicating that the more people get vaccinated, the less likely we will see a variant that is vaccine-resistant.

Omicron replacing Delta worldwide - Dr Georges


Dr Georges warned; however, that the Omicron variant continues to replace Delta as the dominant strain in various countries and is now found in 89 countries worldwide.

“While it has not yet been identified in the Virgin Islands it has been identified in the Caribbean region. So far, it appears that it is more infectious but causes milder disease.”

While encouraging vaccination, Dr Georges underscored that vaccines offer good protection against severe disease, hospitalization and death associated with the Delta infections in the VI.

He added “Residents should therefore avail themselves of opportunities to be either vaccinated or receive their booster dose,” while calling for increased vigilance and adherence to mask-wearing, social distancing, and hand hygiene.

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