Almost one in three Covid tests in Milton Keynes is showing the new 'Delta Plus' variant, figures have revealed.
And MK is currently the eighth worst hotspot in England for cases of the variant, which is officially known as AY.4.2.
The Wellcome Sanger Institute analysed 249 coronavirus samples taken in Milton Keynes in the week ending November 13.
Some 75 were found to be AY.4.2. This equates to 30.1%.
The highest number of cases was found to be in the Torridge area of Devon, where Delta Plus now accounts for more than half of analysed samples.
The mutated form of coronavirus spreads more easily than other variants. Scientists are still working out whether it is more transmissible or whether there are other factors helping it to spread.
Officials designated the strain a ‘variant under investigation’ on October 20. But there is “no evidence of increased severity based on risk of hospitalisation or death”, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has said.
Vaccines are proving as effective against Delta Plus as they are against other Delta variants, two separate studies have found.
The Wellcome Sanger Institute analysed more than 36,000 positive Covid-19 tests across England from the week to November 13.
The research is provisional, but gives more localised detail than the official figures published by the UK Health Security Agency.