Is Delta strain of COVID-19 that dangerous!
Coronavirus continues to surprise us. Is Delta strain of COVID-19 that dangerous!
SARS-COV-19 also known as coronavirus appeared as a paradox when blocking the life was assumed impossible. It not only confined us to our homes but impacted economy of many countries and population as well. The idea of it being real was challenged by people earlier but soon after they had no other choice than accepting the fact that Covid-19 is not just real but a fatal virus. With time as scientists uncovered its variants and fatality it kept challenging us by revealing more and more fatal mutants rendering our researchers stand at the same point they started from, but finally in 2020 researchers claimed to have found its vaccine.
When life was back on track, apparently two new variants named as delta variant and delta plus came out of the blue to take us back to suffering and accelerate the pandemic.
Why should we worry about delta variant?
- Is it just another strain of COVID-19?
- Is it more fatal than previously known strains?
- What makes it a variant of global concern?
- What signs and symptoms differentiate it from other strains of coronavirus?
- Is it same in transmission as other strains of novel coronavirus?
- Is vaccine useful against it?
- What to do if you are tested positive with it?
Let’s have a brief look.
What is delta variant or delta virus?
Delta strain originated from India in December 2020 and was the reason behind 2nd wave of viral upraise in India. It’s much more contagious as spreads rapidly out of India and has taken over about 80 countries.
Is delta virus as contagious as other strains of SARS-COV-19?
It’s more contagious than previously known virus and its variants. It is B.1.617.2 variant of Covid19 growing 50℅ faster than alpha variant while some studies reveal that it’s two times more transmissible than original novel coronavirus. In fact, an MIT publication claimed that delta virus is 100℅ more transmissible than any other Covid-19 strain.
- According to World Health Organization (WHO) this version of Virus is “fastest and fittest”.
- Other strains of virus including beta strain that emerged from South Africa, two epsilon variants originated from US and gamma strain from Brazil were not found to be this much transmissible compared to delta strain.
- This transmission of delta strain makes it much more dominant than the previous strains of coronavirus.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in June, announced that delta variant would overtake alpha variant soon the USA.
Are vaccinated and unvaccinated people and people of all ages at same risk?
- Vaccinated people with one shot of vaccine are still at risk whereas vaccinated people with 2 shots show some more resistance. According to a study done in England, completely vaccinated individuals were found to resist delta variant by 88% whereas 33% effectiveness found in those who were partially vaccinated.
- Unvaccinated people are at greater risk compared to vaccinated people.
- Younger ones are more prone to get infected by it (people aged less than 50 and children the most).
- People older than 50 years are less prone to catch it but still should take preventive measures.
Delta plus strain of virus and how it differs from delta strain:
“Delta plus” variant (B.1.617.2.1) has an additional genome alteration (mutation) that is not present in the spike protein of delta variant. Its extra mutation—K417N makes it different.
Does Delta virus cause more severe diseases?
Although this variant is much more contagious than other strains of novel coronavirus, but it is not found to cause severe diseases other than what we previously know of, based on a Scottish study of 20,000 Covid-19 infections (mostly those individuals who are unvaccinated). It only increases hospitalizations as number of infections are found to occur in infected individuals.
Symptoms of delta virus:
Delta virus can go asymptomatic to fatal. It is making patient's health drop faster than any other strain. According to Garvey alliance, the progression of symptoms follows this way.
- Headache followed by sore throat, cold and fever. Cough is less common and lack of smell and taste is also not common.
Is there any particular vaccine available for this delta variant?
Doctors still say that vaccine is probably 90% effective against the delta variant but uncertainty is still there.
Pfizer is preparing to seek authorization for its COVID-19 booster shot. The company says getting a third shot within 12 months could dramatically boost your immunity and may help ward off the highly contagious delta variant. This news comes just as Delta variant continues to dominate the new rising Covid-19 cases.
Should you get the vaccine or not?
Doctors say that if you’re on the fence about getting vaccinated, it’s high time you go for it. It boosts your immune system fight this devil more effectively.
What to do if you are tested positive?
Consult your own physician first if you’re tested positive. These five things are what you can do at home.
- Rest well and give your body some time to heal.
- Nutrition; Soups may be really good for you at this stage. Keep yourself hydrated.
- Lie on your belly as it helps improve respiratory mechanics and helps divert oxygen supply to the underperfused regions of the lungs.
- Ramp up your vitamin intake specially vitamin C and D.
- Citrus fruits such as orange and its juice helps boost immune system and fight virus effectively.
- A glass of milk daily, for instance, will make up your 25% of your vitamin D requirement.
- Boost your mood in any way possible. Try not to panic or act anxiously.
What medications are helpful?
- Paracetamol relieves fever and body ache.
- Regularly gargle with salt water or Listerine.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Do not go anywhere near cigarettes if you’re a smoker.
(Consult your pharmacist or physician if symptoms don’t resolve
No matter what we say regarding this virus that we have uncovered its variants, we have developed its vaccine, but the reality speaks louder that “we are still at the same risk we were at when pandemic broke”. Hence, we should keep taking precautions for the sake of our wellbeing and our loved ones. Wear mask when move outside, maintain social distancing, use sanitizer and avoid crowded gatherings, for prevention is better than cure and in this case, prevention is only cure.