There is no evidence yet of the Delta coronavirus variant in Costa Rica, the Institute for Nutrition and Health Research (INCIENSA) says.
That news was first reported by the news outlet El Observador and confirmed elsewhere.
But the more-transmissible variant could soon be detected within Costa Rica, INCIENSA acknowledged, given its growing prevalence across the world.
INCIENSA told El Observador that its genomics laboratory is “constantly monitoring” to detect the different variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that occur in Costa Rica. If an when the Delta variant is identified, “the corresponding notification and communication will be carried out.”
The Delta variant, first identified in India, is around 60% more transmissible than the Alpha variant (B.1.1.7) identified in the United Kingdom in late 2020, Nature reports.
In the United States, it now accounts for more than 6% of sequenced virus samples, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Vaccines do appear to work against the Delta variant, though perhaps less so than other variants. A study from late May, cited by Nature, indicates the complete AstraZeneca vaccine boosts protection against Delta to 60% (compared to 66% against Alpha), while two doses of Pfizer are 88% effective (compared to 93% against Alpha).
Preliminary evidence suggests that people infected with Delta more likely to be hospitalized, per public-health officials in the U.S. and elsewhere.