A new strain of Coronavirus is spreading across the world, and here is what that means for all of us. The number of cases from COVID-19 has dropped significantly from where it started, but the new Delta variant is gaining a strong foothold. Delta — the World Health Organization (WHO) names coronavirus variants after Greek letters — is the B.1.617.2. variant, a SARS-CoV-2 mutation,and the latest variant of concern as they believe it is ‘the fastest and fittest. It started in India and stowed away to more than 80 countries. Now countries like the USA, UK, Australia, and Canada are witnessing a surge of Delta variant affected cases. From where it has first detected in the US, it has multiplied far more rapidly than anticipated. An MD, F. Perry Wilson an epidemiologist from Yale University believes that “Delta will certainly accelerate the pandemic.”
The cases due to this strain are rising swiftly and because it is more contagious and highly transmittable than the original strain so its growth is exponential and quick, so Dr. Wilson believes that “what seems like a fairly modest rate of infectivity can cause a virus to dominate very quickly—like we’re seeing now. Delta is out-competing everything else and becoming the dominant strain,” reported in Yale Medicine.
Children and individuals under the age of 50 are 2.5 times at higher risk of contracting infection, according to a recent study. And because there isn’t any approved vaccine for children between ages 5 to 12, so it is expected that, As older age groups get vaccinated, those who are younger and unvaccinated will be at higher risk of getting COVID-19 with any variant,but Delta seems to be impacting younger age groups more than previous variants,” says Dr. Yildirim a pediatric infectious disease specialist and a vaccinologist.
If this new strain continues at such an exponential rate, it could accelerate the pandemic, and could once again choke the health care system. While it isn’t likely to overburden healthcare in the USA, but in other parts of the world, it is the biggest concern. Depending upon the vaccination status Delta variant could cause ‘hyperlocal outbreaks’, allowing the virus to jump from poorly vaccinated to adequately vaccinated areas.
The new Delta strain has high pathogenicity in comparison to the original SARS-CoV-2, leading to a higher rate of hospitalization, as the studies conducted in Great Britain. Its effects on the body are yet to be studied, as some reports of difference in symptoms have been seen, e.g. there are fewer reports of cough and loss of smell and more of headache, sore throat, runny nose, and fever, unlike the original strain.
But one this for sure is that full vaccination is the best protection against the Delta variant. That means 2 doses of vaccines like Pfizer or Moderna. Those people who are vaccinated should still undergo risk assessment, like avoiding crowded, unvaccinated people gathering, avoiding areas of known Delta variant outbreak. Etc. It is important to encourage people around you to get vaccinated to let this pandemic end for good. Remember to be vigilant, not alarmed.
Coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, Pandemic, delta variant, delta strain, symptoms, India, UK, USA.