ATLANTA — The Delta variant is now the dominant strain of the coronavirus in the U.S., however, a new Delta-plus variant is generating concern online.
So, what is the Delta-plus variant? How is it different from the variant already here in Georgia?
The new variant was first reported in England back on June 11 by Public Health England, a government health agency.
Since then the variant has shown up in countries such as India, the United States, and most recently in South Korea.
According to a report from the BBC, the Delta-plus variant contains an additional mutation called K417N on the coronavirus spike.
What does that mean?
India's health ministry said the Delta-plus strain "spreads more easily, binds more easily to lung cells, and is potentially resistant to monoclonal antibody therapy."
However, according to a report from CNN, there isn't enough evidence to determine anything conclusive about the strain just yet, and other experts have expressed caution, stating "people should be watchful but calm."
In July, the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that it would continue to monitor individual classifications of the variant as more data becomes available.
The World Health Organization also listed the Delta-plus strain as a "variant of concern."
So, why is this happening?
According to the CDC, the answer is simple; viruses constantly change as they mutate. As a result, multiple variants have been documented both in the United States and globally throughout the pandemic.