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ALPENA, Mich. — Health officials recently identified the delta variant of COVID–19 in Alpena county.

The CDC says the delta variant— also known as B1672— first emerged in India late last year.

It made its way to the UK through international travel, then to the US.

Since March, it has become the predominant strain in the country.

Dr. Josh Meyerson from the local health department said Delta’s advantage over the original strain is its greater contagiousness.

Meyerson said Delta is likely the dominant strain in the county right now.

The CDC estimates that it’s twice as contagious as the original strain.

Meyerson said the best way to combat the strain is to get vaccinated, wear a mask, and practice social distancing.

Delta is one of four variants of concern in the US, each labeled with a different Greek letter.