Mid-South health experts keeping close eye on COVID strain Delta Plus

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Medical experts are keeping a close eye on the Delta Plus variant.

Right now, its not a variant of interest or concern but doctors are monitoring the strain to see if it will spread more easily or become deadlier than other variants.

“These viruses have to compete with each other and they are competing with each other for food,” said Dr. Steve Threlkeld with Baptist Memorial Healthcare.

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Dr. Threlkeld said the Delta variant is slowly going away.

While this is good news, Dr. Threlkeld is still worried about future variants.

“Longer term, it’s really the more resistant variants that we are worried about because if we let this thing go on long enough you might see a rise, those variants that aren’t going to be as respectful of our immunity either natural infection or vaccination,” said Dr. Threlkeld.

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Right now, doctors do not consider the Delta Plus variant a major concern, but are still keeping close tabs on it. In the UK, the strain is making up 6 percent of COVID cases.

“There is nothing unique about these mutations. We’ve seen them before but, in this combination, it appears to be getting a little foothold in England. At this point, the good news is it’s not completely taking over Delta,” said Dr. Threlkeld.

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Dr. Threlkeld emphasized, the best way to stop these variants from emerging is to get vaccinated.

“The vaccine still works against everything out there that we know about and if everyone would just get vaccinated we would put this thing to sleep,” said Dr. Threlkeld.