A new COVID-19 “Delta plus” variant known as “AY4.2” has been detected in an 11-year-old Israeli boy who returned to the country from Moldova.
The variant was picked up during routine testing upon arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport.
Israel’s Health Ministry said in a statement Tuesday that the child entered self-quarantine immediately, and no other cases have been detected thus far.
The UK has seen a rise in the number of cases of the “Delta plus” variant, and few cases have also been identified in the United States and Denmark.
Dr. Scott Gottlieb, former Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), reported in a series of tweets this past weekend that “AY4.2” – identified in July 2021 in the UK — has now reached eight percent of all British sequenced cases.
The variant has been in the UK since about July, but it has been slowly increasing in prevalence. There’s no clear indication that it’s considerably more transmissible, but we should work to more quickly characterize these and other new variants. We have the tools.
— Scott Gottlieb, MD (@ScottGottliebMD) October 17, 2021
“We need urgent research to figure out if this delta plus is more transmissible, has partial immune evasion,” he wrote.
“This is not a cause for immediate concern but a reminder that we need robust systems to identify, characterize new variants. This needs to be a coordinated, global priority for COVID same as similar international efforts have become standard practice in influenza,” he wrote.