Photo Credit: NIAID / NIH
Two SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus cells (COVID-19)

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.

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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.

“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.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.