COVID variant – should we be worried?
If you’ve been watching the news, you may have heard about the new COVID variant. While most of us are getting ready to go back to our normal lives that others refer to as the “new normal,” here comes another threat – the Delta variant.
After a series of ongoing distribution of Covid vaccines in every corner of the world organized by the local government, we see some hope. Not until the experts warned about the new Covid variant that could bring the pandemic era back.
What is the Covid variant?
Experts are foreseeing a major concert right now, the emergence of a new coronavirus variant. This sars cov-2 variant, a mutation of the original coronavirus, is more contagious and spreads more easily, and as you probably know, it’s the Delta variant.
Even with the continuous surge of Covid-19 cases, the good news is that a significant amount of the world’s population is fully vaccinated per the World Health Organization’s data.
This Delta variant’s first case was in India, which eventually spread in the country, reaching Great Britain. The United States’ first Delta variant case was in March, but it has been a dominant Covid 19 variant.
Both WHO and the CDC monitor these virus mutations as they are worried that it can lead to more cases and COVID-19 deaths.
Public health officers claimed that people armed with COVID-19 vaccines have higher protection against the Delta variant than those who were unvaccinated.
Here’s a summary of the basic facts you need to know about this severe disease’s new variant to give you more detailed data.
Unvaccinated people are more at risk.
Covid 19 vaccine doesn’t only give you better immunity, but it’s your shield against Covid 19 and any Covid variant. Although many of the population were vaccinated, there are still some areas where Covid vaccination rates are lower.
In the United States, in states like Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Alabama, West Virginia, and Arkansas, only a few people are getting Covid 19 vaccines.
It’s not surprising that Covid cases in some of these states are rising. The disease control and prevention center is making all the efforts to get people vaccinated, especially now with the new Covid variant.
Vaccinated people are less likely to get infected with the delta variant.
Another concern the US CDC (center for disease control) is looking at is where young people and kids areas there’s still no approved vaccine for children ages 5-12.
The available vaccines in the U.S. are for adolescents. Kids and younger people are also susceptible to this new covid variant.
Delta variant is more contagious.
The #DeltaVariant of the virus that causes #COVID19 is more than 2x as contagious as the original strain. Some fully vaccinated people can spread Delta, but vaccines provide protection from hospitalization, severe disease, and death.
— CDC (@CDCgov) August 2, 2021
As far as we know, researchers have said that this Delta variant is 50% highly contagious than the Alpha variant.
This Alpha with the Scientific code B.1.1.7 is 50% more spreadable. We’ll never know the outcome with this Delta variant, as it constantly changes through mutation.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports, Delta was the culprit of the sudden new U.S. COVID-19 cases last month.
The beta strain of this Covid variant first appeared in South Africa.
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Delta variant can lead to another pandemic outbreak
Given the percentage of unvaccinated people in an area, this covid variant can spread fast enough to hasten another pandemic.
If a certain area has a low vaccination rate and is surrounded by a highly vaccinated area, the virus can hop and result in just hyperlocal outbreaks.
Experts say that the U.S. is doing good and almost immuned from the Delta covid variant due to its relatively high vaccination rates.
Getting vaccinated is your best shield against Delta.
If you want to help the world get ahold of another impending pandemic outbreak, get yourself vaccinated.
This is the most important you can do to protect yourself and your family. If the available vaccine is Johnson and Johnson, you’ll only need one shot.
While for Moderna and Pfizer, you need to get their two-dose vaccine with two weeks for each shot.
Although WHO still encourages people to wear masks to provide additional protection, the CDC has left the decisions to their local governments.
While there has been ongoing research if vaccinated people need booster shots to get better protection against Delta, experts say it’s too soon to know whether we will need a booster targeting the Delta covid variant.
Johnson and Johnson have claimed that its vaccine is effective against Delta. Though there wasn’t any scientific proof yet, one study shows that its vaccine is less effective against the Delta variant.
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Symptoms of Delta Variant
While some of the results show that both the first coronavirus strain and the new delta covid strain are seen with the same symptoms, some cases in the U.K. show otherwise. Check the details below.
Original Coronavirus strain symptoms:
- Sore Throat
- Loss of smell
Delta covid variant symptoms:
- Sore throat
- Runny nose
What’s different about the Delta variant?
To get a sense of the difference between original COVID infectivity and Delta, look at this old diagram from @PopSci The CDC is now saying that Delta has an R0 like chickenpox. That would be 10-12 orange balls. Between chickenpox and measles. pic.twitter.com/VQdkUgONTG
— Paul Bleicher (@pbleic) July 30, 2021
Aside from this new covid variant being more contagious, it’s more deadly and has a high hospitalization rate.
A recent study shows that there’s a higher rate of death among unvaccinated people. As compared to the original coronavirus variant, this delta variant has a “sub-variant.”
The Delta plus variant, also known as b.1.617.2.1, has a mutation that can strongly attack the lungs and escape vaccines. It was first detected in India but has spread across the U.S, U.K, and a dozen other countries.
However, there wasn’t much to worry about this Delta Plus variant as WHO hasn’t declared or warned the variant to be a major concern.
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Covid Delta Variant FAQs
Where did this Delta variant come from?
Last December 2020, the first case was recorded in India, which led to several hospitalizations and deaths. As per the CDC covid data tracker, it circulated quickly throughout the country and is now widely spread in 104 countries.
Does the Covid vaccine protect against the Delta variant?
Scientists have studied some cases and found out that the Delta variant and other viruses were rare among fully vaccinated people.
While this is the case, pharmaceutical companies are testing booster shots to better enhance their vaccines against the Delta variant and other variants that may emerge. Pfizer will request for FDA’s approval to test their booster dose this month.
What are the U.S. states with the Delta variant?
All 50 states have a reported case of this new covid variant accounting for 52% of new records in the U.S. Most cases are those states with fewer vaccinated residents, Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, and Kansas.
Although the U.S. hasn’t implemented another restriction yet, some countries have initiated lockdowns and curfews again.
Bangladesh, Australia, and South Africa have implemented lockdowns while travel restrictions are ongoing in Germany, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.
We all have been in the pandemic era, which is to say the worst years of our lives. With the emergence of the new Delta covid variant, fears of getting back to those dark times are inevitable.
With Covid-19 and its variants still lurking around, it’s still in an ongoing assessment not only for the experts but for us.
These viruses constantly spread. The only thing we could do to help prevent this new Delta variant from spreading is first, getting vaccinated.
There are a few options of authorized vaccines you can choose from. The second is health care. Continue wearing masks and washing and sanitizing your hands whenever you’re out.