The SARS-CoV-2 virus has spread worldwide, and it has mutated and evolved, creating several strains. The Delta variant originated in India back in October 2020, and it became dominant in the U.S. The Mu variant originated in Colombia in January this year, and since then, it has been detected in around 40 countries. Other strains have been circulating, such as the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, etc. The WHO labels them according to their evolution, transmissibility rate, and other criteria such as resistance to Covid-19 vaccines.
What do we know about Delta, and why is it considered the worst SARS-CoV-2 strain?
The Indian variant has been detected in over 170 countries, and it has the tendency to become the dominant strain. The CDC’s statistics show that the Delta strain is accountable for over 99% of new Covid-19 cases in the U.S. Data reveals that this aggressive variant is faster and more evolved than the ancestral virus or earlier variants. Health experts conducted studies that projected that this variant can be twice more contagious than other variants of the original COVID-19.
Because of its high contagious rate and the tendency to cause more severe symptoms in the unvaccinated population, the WHO and the CDC have labeled Delta as a variant of concern. Studies have shown that unvaccinated people are twice more likely to need hospitalization if infected with the Delta variant.
The Mu variant arrived from South America
The strain has been detected in several countries, including the U.S. For now, the WHO labeled it as a variant of interest, and it has similar features as the Delta variant. It could potentially become more dangerous in the future, and health experts are keeping their eyes on it. Although it has similarities with the Delta strain, the latter continues to be a cause of great concern and the reason why many countries are experiencing a new Covid-19 infection wave.