The rise of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the world. However, public health officials are watching specific coronavirus variants and mutations that may be more deadly or contagious than the original strain. Viruses constantly change to adapt and survive, and variants emerge when a strain has one or more mutations that differ from others.
World Health Organization (WHO), and CDC monitors these variations to find out if transmission could lead to a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths, as well as if current vaccines can provide protection.
Here are few things you must know about the delta variant:
Meaning of Delta variant
Delta variant is also known as B.1.617.2 can spread easily, according to the CDC. The strain mutates on the spike protein that makes it easier for it to infect human cells. It means people may be more contagious if they contract the virus and more easily spread it to others. It is now the dominant strain in the U.S.
Meaning of Delta Plus variant
The Delta Plus variant known as AY.1 or B.1.617.2.1 is considered a ‘subvariant’ of the Delta version. It has a mutation that allows the virus to attack lung cells and potentially escape vaccines.
Origin of Delta variant
The Delta variant was first identified in India in December 2020 and led to major outbreaks in the country. As per the CDC tracker, it then spread rapidly and is now reported in 104 countries. Delta variant in early July has become the dominant form of the coronavirus in the Germany, U.K., the U.S., and other countries.
Symptoms of Delta variant
The symptoms are similar to those with the original coronavirus strain and other variants, including sore throat, fever, headache, and persistent cough.
At the same time, COVID-19 patients in the U.K. have reported that some symptoms are slightly different for Delta. Loss of smell and cough seems to be less common. Fever, runny nose, sore throat, and headache seem to be more common.
Is the Delta variant more deadly?
Scientists are still tracking the data to determine how deadly the variant is. Based on the hospitalizations in the U.K., the Delta variant seems to be more likely to lead to deaths and hospitalization. It happens particularly among the unvaccinated people, according to the recent study by The Lancet.
Meaning of Delta variant for different categories
Find out about how delta variant differentiates between the two categories:
People who haven’t been fully vaccinated against the COVID-19 are much more at risk. In the U.S., communities with low vaccination rates have seen a rise in cases, particularly in Southern states such as Arkansas and Missouri and in Midwest states. Outbreaks have also been found in Mountain states like Wyoming.
Younger adults and kids who haven’t been vaccinated may be susceptible as well. In the U.K., unvaccinated adults under 50 were 2.5 times more likely to become infected with Delta.
Scientists are looking at how the Delta variant can cause breakthrough cases of infections among people who are fully vaccinated. So far, they seem to be rare.
In the preliminary analysis, two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine appeared to be about 88% effective against diseases and 96% effective against hospitalization with the Delta variant. Johnson & Johnson has also reported efficacy from its one-shot vaccine against the Delta variant, which researchers estimate to be similar to the AstraZeneca results.
What is the Delta variant situation in the U.S.?
The Delta variant is present in all 50 states and now accounts for 52% of new infections in the U.S. In Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, and Iowa, it makes up about 80% of new cases.
Public health officials are not yet sure how the Delta variant will ultimately affect the U.S., though it has led to more cases worldwide. Curfews and lockdowns have been imposed at places in South Africa, Bangladesh, and Australia, and new travel restrictions were set in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Germany to reduce the number of flights from countries with widespread transmission.
More about other variants
Here are 2 more variants you must know about:
The Epsilon variant known as B.1.427/B.1.429 was first detected in Southern California. Lab studies suggest that Epsilon has three mutations in the spike protein that may make COVID-19 treatments and vaccines less effective.
The Lambda variant, also known as C.37, was first identified in Peru in August 2020. It has now spread throughout South America, and the WHO designated it a ‘variant of interest’ in mid-June.
Delta variant does not go out of the house without any reason so always use a sanitizer, mask and go to the nearest COVID centers and get your vaccination done.
For more updates on the COVID-19 vaccines and variants, stay tuned to the WiseRx Discount Card blog!