What is the Delta variant?
The Delta variant/ B.1.617.2 of the COVID-19 infections appears due to the merging of two mutations of a virus strain which ultimately go on to form a third, super infectious strain. The B.1.617.2 variant contains mutations from two separate virus variants, namely E484Q and L452R.
The first case of this double mutation was discovered in the state of Maharashtra in India.It is now spreading around the world. It is becoming the dominant strain in some countries,such as in the U.K.,China and likely to spread in other countries like U.S.A.
New symptoms of Delta variant –
Along with mild covid symptoms such as
•Ioss of sense of smell and taste
due to the involvement of the variants, furthermore new symptoms have been emerged which includes-
*feeling more like a bad cold with runny nose
*some funny ‘off’ feeling
Although initially people may not feel very ill, but they could be contagious and put others at risk.
Why it is said to be dangerous?
As it is told before the delta variant carries the genetic code from two other mutations, it becomes more easy for the virus to break into the human immune system and invade the organs.
Additionally, as the new variant tend to alter the structure of the spike protein, it becomes more efficient in attaching itself to the human host cells. Furthermore, it multiplies more rapidly, doing more damage than an original COVID strain.
It has been found that Delta variant in around 60% more transmissible then the “alpha” variant (previously known as the U.K. or Kent variant). It is more likely to Iead to hospitalizations, as has been seen in countries like the U.K.
Variant of Concern
It is re-classified as a “variant of concern” because it is spreading more easily. It causes more severe cases when compared to other variants, including B.1.1.7(Alpha).
Delta becomes New Delta plus variant
The new Delta plus variant or AY.1 variant is characterised by the acquisition of K417 N mutation.
A number of sequences of Delta (B.1.617.2) having spike mutation K417N have been identified in genomes from 10 countries. The sequences have recently been designated as lineage AY.1(B1. 6172.1), a sublineage of Delta, due to concerns about K417N being one of the mutations found in the Beta variant(B.1.351).
How much is vaccine effective?
It has been concluded that people who had received a COVID-19 vaccine were less likely to be admitted to hospital with the Delta variant compared to unvaccinated individuals.
Along with this, it is important to mention that strong protective effect were not seen until atleast 28 days completed after the first vaccine dose.
The date suggests that vaccine effectiveness against symptomatic disease was 74% against the Alpha variant and 64% against the Delta variant.
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