All viruses change naturally over time, and Covid-19 is not an exception. When the virus was first identified in early 2020, it had undergone thousands of mutations. The mutated virus that is created in this way through mutations is called a variant. According to the World Health Organization, most mutations have little or no effect on the original structure of the virus. Over time, it became extinct. But some mutations occur in ways that help the virus survive and reproduce. The covid-19 delta variant is such a mutation that is more deadly than other variants.
What is COVID Delta Variant?
The Delta variant is one of the coronavirus variants that has emerged in India in the last few months. This specific variant is more contagious than the other variants and is believed to be more responsible for the second wave in Indian as well as the neighboring countries. The Delta variant has already spread to about 98 countries outside India, which is alarming.
Why is the Delta variant dangerous? How is it different from other variants?
The difference is in the spike protein. However, The Delta variant does not have the N501Y or E484K mutations, which were thought to interfere with the effectiveness of the vaccine against the South African variant and the Brazilian variant. But it includes the L452R and P681R mutations, among other mutations. Based on laboratory data, it has been suggested that these two mutations may increase the rate of transmission of the virus and interfere with the effectiveness of antibodies against the virus.
Things we Need to Know About Delta Variant
Scientists around the world are now testing the variant of the coronavirus identified in India. Nevertheless, the Delta variant has reached most of the countries, and first-world countries also started facing issues tackling the new variant. Let's see what you need to know about the Delta variant.
There are three new symptoms that emerged in those who are affected with the Delta variant. These are Colds, Headaches, and Sore throat. The symptoms may also include a mild fever. In the UK, people are now being asked to undergo a covid test whenever they have these three symptoms. A recent app-based study called the ZOE COVID Symptom Study, conducted by King's College of London found these new symptoms in most Covid patients.
It was first identified in December 2020, which spread rapidly in India and soon became dominant in India and Great Britain. At the end of June, Delta made up more than 20% of the cases in the USA, and by the end of July, it will be around 80%, estimated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Moreover, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared it "the fastest and fittest." The Delta variant has been growing exponentially and more quickly. And that is why scientists and researchers all over the world have been emphasizing this.
Who is at Risk?
The people who are not vaccinated fully are at a high risk of getting affected by the Delta variant. However, the fully vaccinated people can also get affected by Delta, but in that case, the death date is relatively lower. Moreover, this variant is not more deadly and causes less damage to the health. But Delta variate is affecting the young people more as well as the kids. "A recent study from the United Kingdom showed that children and adults under 50 were 2.5 times more likely to become infected with Delta."
Do Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson Protect Against Delta?
Although there are other vaccines too, there are three vaccines in the USA that offer some sort of protection against Delta, the CDC suggests. However, it is not known yet how effective they are and other vaccines. A study done in Scotland "suggested that the Pfizer vaccine's effectiveness might decrease slightly when faced with the delta variant and be about 79% effective."
On the other hand, another study that appeared online suggested that vaccines from Johnson & Johnson is not as effective as Pfizer and Moderna. Therefore, judging by the quality, the more modern vaccines can be used, the better.
How to Fight Against Delta Variant?
For now, vaccination is the ultimate protection against Delta. And fully vaccination can make you safe. At least it would not be deadly for the vaccinated people. Therefore, taking two doses of vaccines is recommended, and wait the recommended two weeks to make the vaccine effective.
Research has shown that the corona mortality rates are higher in those countries where the rate of covid vaccination is not more than 5 percent. In a country like Israel, where 60 percent of the population has been vaccinated, the number of deaths and hospitalizations is negligible. So, vaccination is needed first of all.
Comparison with Other Variants
As per the current situation, it is fairly certain that the Delta variant has a higher transmission potential than other variants. But this variant is at least less powerful than the beta variant in terms of its ability to disrupt the effectiveness of serious diseases or vaccines. But the Delta variant is making its way over other variants due to its ability to cause extreme infections.
More infections mean more serious diseases, more hospitalization, more deaths, and more dangerous new variants. So, at any cost, the Delta variant must be stopped with the help of any vaccine.
While not all vaccines are equally effective in preventing infection, most vaccines play an important role in preventing serious diseases, hospitalization, and death. In countries where a significant portion of the population has received two doses of the vaccine, delta variant infections are more common among people who have not been vaccinated. And since it is not possible to provide vaccinations in line with the rate of transmission of the virus, hygiene, and social distance should not be forgotten. Furthermore, those who are being vaccinated need to make sure they are completing two doses.