The Delta variant has mutated, meaning a new ‘Delta Plus’ variant is doing the rounds – both in India, where Delta first originated, but also the UK. Here’s what we know so far about the new variant.Where has Delta Plus been detected?The mutation (AY.1) first came to light in India in April. Since then, it’s been spotted in three states: Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh. It has reportedly been labelled a ‘variant of concern’ by Indian health officials. The variant has also spread to other countries including the UK, USA, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, Poland, Nepal, China and Russia. Sky News reports that 41 cases of the new variant have been sequenced in the UK.It’s not clear where exactly in the UK Delta Plus has been sequenced – HuffPost UK has contacted the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) for more information and will update this article when we hear back. How is the variant different?Initial studies from India suggest the Delta Plus variant could be “even more transmissible” than the existing Delta variant, which is dominant in the UK and is 60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant that originated in Kent in 2020. Randeep Guleria, director of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMs), told India Today the variant is extremely transmissible, and suggested simply walking next to someone with the variant without a mask could lead to it spreading.There are concerns this particular variant could attach more easily to lung cells. Guleria said the Indian government is worried about the immune escape mechanism of Delta Plus. As such, studies are underway to determine whether vaccines are still effective against this mutation.In the meantime enhanced testing, contact tracing and vaccination are underway in areas in India where Delta Plus has been discovered.Should we be worried?“At this stage there is no particular cause for concern,” says Francois Balloux, Professor of Computational Systems Biology and Director at University College London’s Genetics Institute.“The Delta Plus variant, also referred to as AY.1, is the Delta (B.1.617.2) strain carrying the K417N mutation in the spike protein.“It has been found in several countries but has remained at extremely low frequency, with the exception of Nepal.”Prof Balloux says cases of Delta Plus in the UK remain “at a very low level” too.“Given the tiny number of strains reported, nothing is known about the transmissibility, immune evasion or lethality of the Delta Plus strain,” he says.“Though, given that it has remained at very low frequency everywhere where it has been identified strongly suggests it is not more transmissible than its Delta progenitor.”Related...Why Is Hay Fever So Bad This Year? Your Bumper Survival GuideThe 'Game-Changing' Antibody Tests That Could Detect Covid VariantsAnother Winter Lockdown Might Be Needed, Says Public Health England Expert
Shirley Ballas has said she is awaiting test results after discovering a lump in her shoulder.The Strictly Come Dancing judge, who has had two other cancer scares in the past, revealed she has undergone tests after feeling she is getting “sicker by the minute”. Appearing on GB News, she said: “I got the Covid virus and then they found a ganglion cyst or a tumour in my shoulder.“I am going backwards and forwards to the hospital all the time. I feel I seem to be getting sicker by the minute.”She continued: “I can’t seem to get up and out. It’s something between two bones and they are not really sure what it is yet.“They have done the dye and the MRIs plus this and that. I get the results in a few weeks.”“The gentleman seems to think it will be fine,” Shirley added. “But, still. It is worrying.”In 2019, Shirley’s mum Audrey Rich was diagnosed with colon cancer, while her grandmother had a number of procedures to battle the disease, which her aunt also suffered from.In the same year, the 60-year-old star had her breast implants removed after discovering a growth in her chest.Elsewhere in the interview, Shirley also addressed the upcoming series of Strictly Come Dancing, casting doubt on the involvement of one of the judges this year. READ MORE:Shirley Ballas Casts Doubt On Fellow Strictly Judge's Involvement In New SeriesShirley Ballas 'Couldn't Remember Her Own Name' After Contracting CoronavirusShirley Ballas Wants Strictly Pros Johannes, Giovanni And Gorka As Bridesmaids At Her Wedding And Where’s Our Invite?
As COVID-19 shut down offices across the world, major tech hubs with their elaborate office spaces shuttered. The entire industry began to wonder, “how will it be possible to keep our unique culture alive over video conferences?” But now as we see real hope for going back to an in-person setting, the new burning question has become, “how will we adjust and recreate culture and encourage attendance once it’s time to return?” There is, of course, no right answer to these questions just yet — sorry. However, I believe changing how we think about returning to the office in the…This story continues at The Next Web
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Apple Podcasts Subscriptions has gone live, offering listeners a way to subscribe to either individual shows or groups of shows, to avoid ads and potentially grab other perks. The service had been intended to launch in May, but Apple pushed it back at the last moment. Subscribing, as you’d expect, is as straightforward to do as purchasing music through iTunes … Continue reading
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