COVID-19 delta strain could become dominant variant

The variant of the COVID-19 virus that was first found in India and is now dubbed delta has become the dominant strain in some areas, and could become the primary variation in the U.S. the World Health Organization announced Wednesday.

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Delta currently makes up 10% of new cases in the U.S., an increase from 6% the week prior. Some studies suggest that it is more transmissible than other variants. It also may cause more severe symptoms than the primary coronavirus, but more research is needed, WHO officials said, CNBC reported.

Right now, the delta variant has been found in 80 countries, The Washington Post reported.

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Symptoms like the loss of smell and a cough that were indicators of the COVID virus being present are becoming more rare, while genetic epidemiology professor Tim Spector said during a briefing last week that people are reporting headaches, sore throat, runny nose and fever. Younger people said they feel like they have a bad cold or a “funny off feeling,” Spector said, according to CNBC.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are calling delta a “variant of concern.”

The WHO made the same designation on May 10, CNN reported.

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The variant’s spread is the reason British Prime Minister Boris Johnson extended coronavirus restrictions by four weeks, after 90% of new cases were the delta strain, The Washington Post reported.

The country is now expected to fully reopen on July 19 instead of June 21.

However, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Antony Fauci, said he is not concerned about the variant for people who are vaccinated against the coronavirus, CNN reported.

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