The Delta variant of COVID-19 is currently making North American headlines as it drives a spike in cases. But in the realm of COVID variants, Delta is actually a little bit of old news. The first Delta variant case was identified in December 2020, and we are almost at the end of 2021.
In the meantime, The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated four more official “variants of interest,” Eta, Iota, Kappa, and Lambda. And, the WHO is tracking 13 additional variants that originated in the U.S., Brazil, the Philippines, Indonesia, Colombia, and other nations. That’s 17 additional variants that have emerged after the Delta variant, each with just as much potential to spread on a global scale.
Let’s talk more about these emerging variants of COVID-19, including how their symptoms might be different, where each came from, and what makes it different.
For a mutation of COVID-19 to get classified as a variant, that means it must infect and replicate within the population.
The truth is any individual could be the source of a new COVID-19 variant. Each of our immune systems responds differently to the virus, and within each of us, the virus is replicating and potentially mutating. If you spread that mutated COVID-19 to someone else, and they spread it to someone else, and then it continues to spread—well, that’s the literal definition of going viral.
Emerging COVID-19 variants of interest are monitored for the below criteria to determine when they are becoming Covid variants of concern:
Let’s look at the worldwide list of Covid variants, as well as the CDC Covid19 variants list, to review how each fits in with this list of risks.
Here is a list of the Covid19 variants that are under watch by the World Health Organization.
For more information about the current status of these variants as well as updates about new strains, visit the World Health Organization website.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recognizes all the same variants of interest and variants of concern as the World Health Organization. The CDC is also monitoring two unnamed domestic variants of interest that both originated in California.
In addition to variants of concern and variants of interest, the CDC also monitors for variants of high consequence. These are potential variants that are so significantly different, the current testing and vaccine resources do not help against them in any significant fashion. While no variants of high consequence have yet been identified in the United States, quick response will be essential if the time ever comes.
As these variants spread in both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, the new Covid19 variant symptoms to watch for are no longer evident. Now more than ever it’s important to know where to go for rapid, reliable COVID-19 testing that can help you keep yourself and others safe, even when you aren’t showing symptoms. In California, Florida, Nevada and Puerto Rico BioCollections is proud to serve as a resource for individuals and groups in need of COVID-19 testing. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or learn more about employee testing solutions.