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Coronavirus: What are the symptoms of the Delta variant?

It is highly transmissible

SAMAA | - Posted: Jul 23, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Jul 23, 2021 | Last Updated: 2 months ago

The Delta variant of the coronavirus is being tracked and monitored by the WHO across the world. The variant has raised concerns because of its increased transmissibility.

“Most patients at Covid-19 isolation ward are in critical care,” a doctor working at an isolation ward at a private hospital told SAMAA Digital. The patients with the Delta variant are showing unusual symptoms such as hearing loss, vomiting, abdominal discomfort, and generalised fatigue, he added.
The Delta variant of the coronavirus, also 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 be more severe.

The emergence of this variant “is a serious cloud on the horizon”, says Bill Hanage, an 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 severe symptoms such as:
• Stomach pain
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Loss of appetite
• Hearing loss
• Joint pain

Other symptoms include skin rash, change in the colour of toes, sore throat, shortness of breath, as well as loss of smell, diarrhea, headache, and runny nose.

How to protect yourself

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 people who are already vaccinated.

The guidelines to avoid exposure to the new variant are the same:

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

Health experts in Sindh have discovered a new mutation of the coronavirus’ Delta variant – Delta wild or Delta Plus. Last Monday, the province reported six cases of the ‘Delta wild’ variant, the province’s health secretary, Qasim Soomro, confirmed.

According to the World Health Organisation, the Delta Plus/wild variant contains a new mutation in the spike protein of the novel coronavirus. It enters human cells and is called K417N.

Closely linked to the Delta variant, the new mutation has been named ‘Delta Plus’ by the WHO’s naming system for COVID-19 variants. So far, the Delta Plus variant has been reported in relatively low numbers across the world.

“Covid-19 keeps mutating and Delta Plus/wild is its new mutation,” Dr Jamil Muqtadir, an infectious diseases consultant at Karachi’s Ziauddin Hospital told SAMAA Digital. “The only way to battle the new highly mutating Covid-19 strain is to strictly follow safety measures.

Dr Tipu Sultan, the former president of the Pakistan Medical Association, explained that the virus has a limited lifespan. “It keeps multiplying until it dies and mutates into a newer genetic makeup for better survival.” The only way to fight the Covid-19 pandemic and new virulent strains is to follow SOPs, he stressed.

Gatherings should be limited, indoor dining should be banned, timings for markets and shops should be monitored, social distancing should be implemented and vaccination should be ramped up, Dr Sultan suggested. He warned that if safety measures were not taken coronavirus cases will increase and Pakistan’s health system will collapse.

As per experts, the only weapon we have against the super mutating covid-19 virus is the vaccine. Getting inoculated creates herd immunity and hence breaks the cycle of virus contractibility.

Herd immunity, also referred to as ‘population immunity’, is the indirect protection from an infectious disease that occurs when the population becomes immune either through vaccination or immunity developed through a previous infection

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