Why is Delta Variant the Deadliest development of COVID-19?

Delta Variant is 40-60% more transmissible than Alpha and almost twice as transmissible as the original Wuhan strain of SARS-CoV-2

Delta Variant is the variant of concern that WHO is tracking and monitoring around the world. All viruses – including SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 – evolve over time. When a virus replicates itself, it x=changes its DNA structure in such a way as to alter the physical composition of that DNA gene. These changes are called “Mutations”. A virus with one or more new mutations is called a “Variant” of the original virus.

Evolution

B.1.617.2 is another name of Delta Variant. This was first identified in India in December 2020 and led to major outbreaks in the country. Now 96 countries have reported Delta Variant cases and delta variant will continue to spread. Delta is 40-60% more transmissible than Alpha and almost twice as transmissible as the original Wuhan strain of SARS-CoV-2. 

It is a variant of concern because it has increased transmissibility. Several countries demonstrate with Delta Variant, it rapidly takes off and spreads between people more efficiently that even the alpha variant that was first detected around December, January 2021.

Symptoms

The symptoms of the Delta Variant appear to be the same as the original version of COVID-19 strains. However, physicians are seeing people getting sick quicker, especially for younger people including a persistent cough, headache, fever, and sore throat.

  • General symptoms: dry cough, tiredness, or fever in general.
  • Severe symptoms: shortness of breath, shortness of breath, or abdominal pain.
  • Associated symptoms: skin rash, change in the color of the toes, sore throat, shortness of breath, as well as loss of smell, diarrhea, headache, or runny nose, etc.

Reported Cases

As of August 9, 2021, the UK had reported the highest number of SARS-CoV-2 Delta Variant cases, with 212,655. The SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant (B.1.617.2) was first detected in India in late 2020.

Deaths

By August 11, 2021, the virus had infected over 204 Million people worldwide, and led to a loss of 4.3 Million. The source seemingly does not differentiate between “The Wuhan strain” (2019-nCOV) of COVID-19, “The Kent mutation” (B.1.1.7) that appeared in the UK in late 2020 or ”The Delta variant’‘ (B.1.617.2) from India.

Factors

There are number of factors that are contributing to increase transmission around the world.

  • The first are these variants of concern include delta variant.
  • Social mixing and increased social mobility, which increases the number of contacts that individual have.
  • Relaxation or the inappropriate use of public health and social measures. Proven public health and social measures prevent infection, reduce the spread and save lives.
  • Uneven and inequitable distribution of vaccines.

Precautions

Knowing risks help to take measures to lower risks every single day. There are many things that we can do ourselves to protest ourselves against delta variant.

This includes:

  • Make sure to have clean hands and wearing a mask. Make sure that mask cover nose and mouth and to have clean hands when put mask and taking off the mask.
  • Avoid crowded spaces, keeping distance from others.
  • Make sure that if you are indoors, room has good ventilation.
  • Use a sanitizer when meeting anyone.
  • Sanitize and disinfect things or items used in the house.
  • Maintain a distance of 6 feet while meeting people.
  • Get the vaccination as soon as possible to avoid this.

Also See: Dr. Faisal wrote a letter of concern towards UK keeping Pakistan on COVID-19 Red List

Taking all of these measures will help to reduce the possibility of exposure to virus and reduce the possibility of getting infected.

Treatment

Antibiotics are prescribed for the treatment of delta variant, but no clear information has been received about it because antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infection, not viral. Steroids such as dexamethasone have found to have reduce the risk of death. The only way to prevent this is to get vaccinated ASAP. So far, a lot of vaccines have been issued for covid-19 all over the world and a large number of people have already got vaccine and a large number of people are getting this vaccine every day. Researches says no treatment is working against this variant and it is not completely eradicated even by the vaccine, but the chances of getting sick from it through vaccination are very less.

Vaccine

Vaccine shows highly preventive measures against disease and death including Delta Variant. But they are not 100% effective against delta variant. Some fully vaccinated people will become infected but as vaccine provides them strong protection against serious illness and death, they experience less illness.

Unvaccinated people are however at higher risk of getting infected by Delta Variant. They are at greatest risk of transmission of virus and experience severe symptoms and may lead to death.

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