The delta Covid variant, first detected in India, has now spread to more than 80 countries and it continues to mutate as it spreads across the globe, World Health Organization officials said Wednesday.

The variant now makes up 10% of all new cases in the United States, up from 6% last week. Studies have shown the variant is even more transmissible than other variants. WHO officials said some reports have found that it also causes more severe symptoms, but more research is needed to confirm those conclusions.

The WHO is also tracking recent reports of a "delta plus" variant. "What I think this means is that there is an additional mutation that has been identified," said Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO's Covid-19 technical lead. "In some of the delta variants we've seen one less mutation or one deletion instead of an additional, so we're looking at all of it."

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