With new variants – Delta Variant and Delta Plus Variant- spreading faster than the previous strains of Covid-19, it becomes necessary to follow strict COVID guidelines. Wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, washing and sanitizing hands, and maintaining respiratory hygiene are some measures that we should follow.
Moreover, vaccination is crucial. To prevent the virus from spreading, getting the vaccine becomes a matter of utmost importance. Firstly, it helps develop immunity against the virus and secondly, it’s proven effective in decreasing the risks of infections.
The Delta Variant
Mutations in the spike protein of Covid-19 led to a new variant, the Delta variant. It spreads faster by infecting human cells at a rapid rate. The rate of spreading the infection is 50% more than the previous strains of the coronavirus.
According to Yale Medicine, a person infected by a Delta variant is likely to spread it to three to four other people as compared to one or two people with the original Covid-19 strain.
The Delta Variant was first identified in India around December 2020 and is continuously spreading in other countries, affecting 104 countries to date.
Some of the features of the variant are:
- It is highly contagious, resulting from its higher efficiency and easier transmission.
- Symptoms grow more rapidly
- It affects the unvaccinated population more
- A vaccinated person can even contract the virus (breakthrough cases)
What Are The Symptoms of Delta Variant?
The symptoms of the Delta variant closely relate to the coronavirus symptoms, which include:
- Sore Throat
- Runny Nose
- Loss of Smell
The Delta Plus Variant
Delta Plus Variant is an extension of Delta Variant, proven to be more deadly. It is highly contagious because of its potential to attack the lung cells and can even escape vaccines.
The Indian Health Ministry, on June 22, declared the Delta Plus Variant as a “Variant of Concern”.
It has become a Variant of Concern due to the following reasons:
- The transmissibility rates are more than the original strain.
- It attaches more strongly to receptors on lung cells
- It can escape an antibody response
What Are The Symptoms of Delta Plus Variant?
Common symptoms are:
- Skin Rashes
- Chest Pain
- Shortness of Breath
- Discolouration of fingers and toes
- Stomach Ache
- Loss of Appetite
Delta Plus Variant in Children
In most countries, there are plenty of underprivileged children who are left unvaccinated. Either they did not take the vaccine or are not eligible to take the shot yet. This threatens the children as they will be more susceptible to contract the new Delta plus variant.
Above all, children are most commonly affected by new infections. They may seem asymptomatic. Though the chances of severity resulting in death may still be unlikely to happen with children, it can cause long-term effects.
Therefore, taking precautions is the only way out!
Symptoms of Delta Plus Variant in Children
It shows the following symptoms in children:
- Stomach & Joint Pain
- Loss of Appetite
- Nausea & Vomiting
- Hearing Loss
- MIS-C (in severe cases)
What is MIS-C?
MIS-C (Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children) can lead to inflammation in different body parts, like the lungs, heart, kidneys, brain, skin, eyes, or gastrointestinal organs.
The cause of the syndrome still needs to be confirmed. However, according to CDC, it is found linked to Covid-19 as observed mainly in COVID patients.
While children might not show every symptom, some of the most common ones for MIS-C are:
- Abdominal Pain
- Bloodshot Eyes
- Low Blood Pressure
- Chest Pain/Tightness
- Neck Pain
In addition, more severe symptoms include (please seek medical emergency in case of these symptoms):
- Trouble Breathing
- Persistent Chest Pain
- Inability to Stay Awake
- Pale, Gray, or Blue-coloured Lips
Considering what we saw during the second wave of the coronavirus and then recovering from the critical situations, it’s mandatory to realize the need to follow the COVID guidelines. In other words, the fight against COVID will only end when herd immunity is achieved by vaccination or immunity boost from the infection itself. In conclusion, precautionary steps need to be taken too, such as wearing masks, keeping a distance of at least 2 meters, and washing & sanitizing hands regularly.
Commonly Asked Questions
Q1. Is the Delta Variant More Contagious?
The Delta Variant is highly transmissible, attaches more firmly to receptors on lung cells, and can evade an antibody response. This makes the Delta variant more contagious than the previous strains of the coronavirus.
Q2. Is the Covid-19 Delta Variant More Serious Than other Covid strains?
The Delta variant is proven to be 50% more dangerous than the Alpha variant, which is 50% more severe than the original Covid-19 strain. This data demonstrates how the Delta variant is more harmful than the original Covid-19 strains.
Q3. Are Covid Vaccines Effective Against the Delta Plus Variant?
While we cannot say much about the vaccines being effective against the Delta Plus variant, they can lower the severe cases’ risks. Vaccines will reduce the chances of death and hospitalization.
Q4. Can the Delta Plus Variant Affect Fully Vaccinated Individuals?
Yes, the Delta Plus variant can affect fully vaccinated individuals. As mentioned in the previous answer that the vaccines are not proven to be totally effective against the Delta Plus variant; people can still contract the virus. However, it will definitely reduce the severity.
Q5. Is the Delta Plus Variant a Threat to Children?
The Delta Plus variant can become a threat to children if they are left unvaccinated. Most importantly, severe infections like MIS-C can develop in children.