Watch variants of concern spread around the world

The delta variant of COVID-19 is at present raging all through communities throughout the United States—notably in the South—nevertheless it’s not the solely pressure of the illness that’s wreaking havoc worldwide. The World Well being Group has identified 4 “variants of concern,” which it defines as variants which have proven to be both extra transmissible, extra dangerous, or extra succesful of evading public well being measures resembling vaccines and therapies.

In line with the WHO, 4 variants at present meet the normal: alpha, beta, gamma, and delta. In fact, most of us in the United States are very conversant in delta, which has been the dominant pressure right here since our summer time wave started. However precisely how and when did delta and the different variants spread from their first identified locations of origin to grow to be international menaces?

The parents at The BMJ medical journal are offering new perception this week with a breakdown of every of the variants together with an in depth description of when and the place they did—and are nonetheless doing—the most injury. In an article printed Thursday, The BMJ features a color-coded animated map that tracks the spread of every variant from August 2020 by way of the first half of July 2021.


Seen in context with the different variants, it’s simple to see why delta is grabbing all the headlines: As of the most up-to-date information, it’s dominant all through the United States, Europe, Southeast Asia, components of Africa, China, and elsewhere. Nevertheless, as of early July at the least, the gamma variant was clearly distinguished in a lot of South America whereas alpha was nonetheless significantly current in Canada.

The map makes use of information from, a venture from researcher Emma Hodcroft at the College of Bern’s Institute of Social and Preventive Medication. You may take a look at the full article and map animation here.