New COVID Variant Found In U.S. Linked To Similar Cases In Israel
According to health officials, a subvariant of the COVID-19 delta mutation previously seen in the United Kingdom has now been found in the U.S. and Israel. During a White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky confirmed that the subvariant has now been found in the U.S.
“In the United States, delta remains the dominant variant with more than 99.7% of sequence cases in the country being caused by delta,” Walensky said. “There are new variants that continue to emerge as cases continue to spread, and in particular, the AY4.2 variant has drawn some attention in recent days.
“AY4.2 is a sublineage of the delta variant that has recently been identified in the U.K., and we have, on occasion, identified the sublineage here in the United States but not with recent increased frequency or clustering to date.”
The subvariant was first found in Israel in an 11-year-old boy who entered the country from Moldova. The boy was identified at the airport and placed in isolation. Health officials say there is no evidence at this time that would indicate the new strain is causing an uptick in coronavirus cases. Israel’s Health Ministry officials plan to hold a meeting on the subvariant amid fears that the new strain could reverse the country’s currently declining infection numbers.
In the U.K., COVID-19 infection rates have remained high, despite high rates of vaccination. Nearly 50,000 new cases of COVID-19 were recorded Monday.