Australia What we know about the Delta variant now in Melbourne
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The Delta variant of COVID-19 now in Melbourne is likely more transmissible than other variants of the virus seen so far, but there is no conclusive evidence it causes worse illness in children.
Genomic testing of a family of four who had returned from Jervis Bay in NSWthey had been infected with the new variant. They have been linked to three cases in another family.
The seven cases are unconnected to Melbourne's current cluster, which is being driven by the less-infectious Kappa variant.
Here's what we know about the Indian Delta COVID-19 variant detected in Victoria's outbreak
The Delta variant of coronavirus, associated with India and the UK and known to be more infectious than other strains, has been picked up in Victoria through genomic sequencing.Here is what we know about the Delta variant and how it came to be.
There is some evidence the Delta variant may modestly cut the effectiveness of vaccines.
Butsuggests both AstraZeneca's and Pfizer's vaccines offer protection against the variant after two doses.
Pfizer's vaccine is 88 per cent effective against symptomatic disease caused by the variant, while AstraZeneca's vaccine is 60 per cent effective. Scientists expect both vaccines to offer much higher levels of protection against serious illness and death.
Professor Benjamin Howden, director of the microbiological diagnostic unit at the Doherty Institute that first identified the variant in Melbourne, said he was confident it would be quickly brought under control.
"There is no difference in the way it spreads. I don't think the interventions and the outcomes will be particularly different in controlling this," Professor Howden said.
Scramble to find how family were infected with Delta Covid variant
A Covid-positive West Melbourne family who travelled to parts of southern NSW were found to have a different variant to other people associated with the current Greater Melbourne outbreakA West Melbourne family who travelled to parts of southern NSW were on Friday found to have the Delta strain, which has ravaged India.
"I would be pretty confident, despite even an increase in transmissibility, we can quickly bring this under control."
Health authorities still don't know where the source of this variant is - Victoria, NSW or elsewhere. It hasn't been genomically linked back to coronavirus cases in hotel quarantine.
However, as the Delta variant has spread around the world - it is now the dominant virus in Britain - it has also arrived in great numbers in Australia's hotel quarantine system.
Data from cov-lineages.org suggests Australiaat least 108 times so far, twice that of and more often than the or variants.
The Delta strain is the second variant spotted in India - formerly known as B.1.617.2, until it was renamed this week by the WHO.
In Britain, the variant has quickly outcompeted both the Kappa variant and the well-established Alpha variant, which caused the country's winter surge.
Focus on Victorian COVID mystery cases, Delta variant and aged care outbreak ahead of lockdown deadline
Victorian officials and experts remain concerned about an aged care outbreak and the highly infectious Delta variant of COVID-19 as the planned end of Melbourne's lockdown nears.Health authorities remain no closer to understanding how a West Melbourne family of four contracted the Delta variant, which originated in India.
Evidence suggests it is substantially more transmissible than the Alpha variant, which was already more transmissible than the virus that came originally out of Wuhan.
Cases of Delta arein the UK even as cases of Alpha fall;
"In the lab under controlled conditions, we do see Delta to be approximately 1.4 times fitter than Kappa," said associate professor Stuart Turville, who is studying COVID-19 variants at the Kirby Institute in Sydney.
"Whilst this is a laboratory observation, the displacement of Kappa by Delta in India does support it to be a fitter variant in populations where vaccine immunity is low."
At a news conference on Friday, Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said there were "some anecdotal reports of greater illness in children as well as greater increased transmissibility in children".
Professor Howden said he "not aware of that evidence, to date".
″There may be increased impact in children such as transmission and disease severity, but these are only anecdotal reports and we need more data/evidence before we can draw firm conclusions regarding this"
Professor Howden said there was no possibility of mistaken identity, as the Delta variant was significantly different genetically to the Kappa variant behind Melbourne's current lockdown.
There was also no possibility that Kappa had mutated into Delta in Melbourne, he said.
Delta COVID variant 60 percent more transmissible, UK gov’t says .
The variant first identified in India currently accounts for more than 90 percent of Britain’s new COVID-19 cases.The Delta variant, which first emerged in India, has caused a rise in cases in Britain, prompting questions about whether physical distancing restrictions will be lifted as planned from June 21.