Concern is growing over a COVID-19 variant that has been spreading rapidly around the world.
First identified in India in October, the mutation — dubbed “Delta” — has now hit at least 62 nations, according to the World Health Organization.
“We continue to observe significantly increased transmissibility and a growing number of countries reporting outbreaks associated with this variant,” the UN agency said this week.
The strain — which appears to be more contagious than the original SARS-CoV-2 virus — has also been spreading at a rapid rate in the US, making up 7 percent of new cases, recent data shows.
Here’s what we know so far about the variant:
How concerning is the variant?
The WHO has classified the strain as a “variant of concern” — meaning there’s some evidence it can spread more easily between people, could possibly cause more serious illness, or might be less responsive to existing treatments and vaccines.
It is the