The Delta variant, scientifically termed as B.1.617.2 of the COVID-19 infections, 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 variant contains mutations from two separate virus variants, namely E484Q and L452R.
With the help of genome sequencing and sample testing, the first case of double mutation in India was discovered in the state of Maharashtra. Earlier lab results reported a sharp rise in the E484Q and L452R mutations since December.
The variant, which was earlier called the ‘double mutant’ virus or the ‘Indian variant’, was officially assigned the name ‘Delta variant’ by the WHO, in order to avoid any confusion regarding the same. That said, 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.