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Delta variant: How can you protect yourself?

New Covid-19 version was previously called the Indian ‘double mutant’ variant

SAMAA | - Posted: Jun 16, 2021 | Last Updated: 4 months ago
Posted: Jun 16, 2021 | Last Updated: 4 months ago

Crowd gathered at Burns road Karachi. Photo: Online

The Delta variant of the coronavirus, previously known as the Indian variant, has spread to more than 70 countries. It was first detected in India, in December 2020. It is highly transmissible and appears to make COVID-19 more severe. 

The emergence of this variant “is a serious cloud on the horizon”, says Bill Hanage, associate professor at Harvard Chan School of Public Health. “Delta is bad; even if we don’t know exactly how bad, recent work has pegged it at maybe 40% more transmissible than the variant we’ve been dealing with until recently.” 

The variant appears to cause alarmingly severe symptoms, such as: 

  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Hearing loss
  • Joint pain

Dr Ganesh Manudhane, a cardiologist in India, has said some patients develop small blood clots that are so severe they lead to gangrene.He has treated eight patients with gangrene during the past two months and two of them had amputations of fingers or a foot. 

Delta is the new dominant strain in UK

As per the health secretary in Britain, Matt Hancock, Delta is responsible for 91% of the new COVID-19 cases in the country. It has replaced the previous Alpha variant.

Vaccines aren’t a perfect defence. Some fully vaccinated people needed hospital treatment and died after catching the variant. This variant’s advantage over the Alpha one is its ability to partially evade the immune system in some people who are already vaccinated.

How to protect yourself

The guideline to avoid exposure to the new variant is the same as for the previous ones:

  • Sanitize hands more often
  • Wear a mask
  • Avoid public gatherings
  • Get vaccinated as soon as possible
  • Avoid meeting people with symptoms
  • Avoid unnecessary travel

 Even though it escapes the immune system, it’s very important for people to get vaccinated. As more and more people will get vaccinated, herd immunity will develop. This will not allow the virus to mutate more and eventually it will be eradicated from the environment

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