Scientifically termed as B.1.617.2 of the Covid-19 infections, the Delta variant refers to the merging of two mutations of a virus strain that go on to form a third, super-infectious strain. The B.1.617.2 variant contains mutations from two separate virus variants, namely E484Q and L452R, according to reports. The Delta variant is highly transmissible (50% more than alpha) and has significant immune escape properties.
With the help of genome sequencing and sample testing, the first case of double mutation in India was discovered in Maharashtra.
The “double mutant’ virus or the “Indian variant”, was officially assigned the name “Delta variant” by the World Health Organisation in order to avoid any confusion regarding the same. Hence, the first mutant virus detected in Kent, UK, is now called “Alpha”, whereas the South African and Brazillian Variant are known as ‘Beta’ and ‘Gamma’ respectively.