JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Jacksonville doctors have told us in the past that over time viruses mutate.
Well, now there’s a delta plus variant, a mutation of the contagious delta variant.
The delta plus variant was identified in the UK about a month ago and recently found here in the U.S.
“This mutation has to do with a slight change in the configuration of the spike protein and when that happens there’s a concern on whether or not the virus can become more infectious or more pathogenic meaning cause more damage once you get infected by it," said Dr. Michael Koren, medical director of Jacksonville Center of Clinical Research.
Dr. Koren says he wouldn’t be surprised if the delta plus variant was here in Florida.
“The delta plus variant is well characterized in the UK and India and obviously with transfers of people between those countries is a very strong likely hood we’re seeing it," said Dr. Koren.
Dr. Koren says delta plus is something researchers are keeping an eye on.
“Viruses when they tend to mutate they actually tend to become more infectious and less pathogenic," said Dr. Koren.
The reason for that, Dr. Koren says If a virus were to kill someone rather quickly it would be much harder for that victim to spread the virus.
“So when viruses cause more minor symptoms it's very easy for people to go about their business and spread it more easily. Of course, there are problems with that because someone who may not have a severe illness of COVID-19 may spread it to someone more vulnerable," said Dr. Koren.