Just when we thought that we can finally catch even a little bit of breath from this pandemic due to the rollout of the vaccines, here comes another threat from the dreaded SaRS COV 2, the virus responsible for COVID-19.
Over the course of the pandemic, the virus has had several mutations, the variants, originally named after the country where it was first detected like the UK-variant, South African-variant, Brazil-variant, and the Indian-variant. The names were later on changed by WHO following the Greek alphabet and are now called the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta variant.
The Delta Variant
Among all the variants, the Delta variant stands out as it was tagged as a variant of concern. Here’s what we know about the Delta variant and why we should be aware and take measures to protect ourselves.
- The Delta variant was first discovered in India in December 2020. This is being tagged as the cause of the 2nd wave of the pandemic in India in April 2021.
- The Delta variant is now the dominant strain in India and UK and is slowly rising as the dominant strain in other countries.
- According to the UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock, the Delta variant is 40% more transmissible than the alpha variant. Although scientists are still trying to get the exact value between 30%-100%.
- The Delta variant is associated with severe symptoms compared to the other variants. Which increases the likelihood of hospitalization for the patient.
- Symptoms may be different from the other variants and headache being one of the first indicators. Symptoms in the Alpha variant such as loss of smell are no longer evident in the Delta variant.
- Full doses of the vaccine provides certain amount of protection from the Delta variant. According to the study released by the UK government, the Pfizer vaccine is 96% effective against hospitalization after 2 doses while the AstraZeneca vaccine is 92% effective against hospitalization after 2 doses.
- In the latest report by the Department of Health here in the Philippines, the Delta variant was detected in 17 patients since May. Four patients infected with the delta variant was recorded in June 2021
Currently, more studies are being conducted in order to ascertain the behavior of the Delta variant and to know how to effectively stop it from causing another wave. In the meantime the public is being asked to take the necessary precautions by observing the minimum health standards and to avail of the vaccine as soon as it is available.