🇺🇳@COVID19Up: It won’t be long before the Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2, first identified in India, becomes the dominant strain of the virus on the planet, World Health Organization (WHO) chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan warned on Friday.

“The Delta variant is well on its way to becoming the dominant variant globally because of its increased transmissibility,” Swaminathan said during a press conference at the agency’s Geneva headquarters.

The variant has already spread to more than 80 countries—and it keeps mutating. The WHO is now tracking reports of a “delta plus” variant, unofficially referred to by some as the Nepal variant.” According to a new study published in The Lancet, the Delta variant doubles the risk of hospitalization.

In the United Kingdom, where the Delta variant has already become the dominant strain of the virus, SARS-CoV-2 infections are rising again in spite of a lockdown and 80% of adults having had their first COVID-19 vaccine dose.

Delta now makes up more than 60% of new COVID-19 cases in the UK.

In the United States, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky warned on Friday that she expects the Delta variant to become the dominant SARS-CoV-2 strain there too.

“When these viruses mutate, they do so with some advantage to the virus. In this case, it is more transmissible,” Walensky told ABC’s “Good Morning America,” describing the Delta variant.

“We saw that quickly become the dominant strain in a period of one or two months, and I anticipate that is going to be what happens with the delta strain here,” Walensky said, adding: “I think that that’s probably going to be the case.”

The good news is that if you get vaccinated, “you’ll be protected against this Delta variant,” Walensky claimed.

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