For the past year, the entire world is suffering due to the Covid pandemic. To date, lots of new mutations of the virus are coming up. A primary concern right now is the Delta variant, a highly contagious SARS-CoV-2 virus strain. This variant was 1st detected in India in December. It spread to India and Great Britain very fast, which led to a rising number of deaths and infections. A couple of months ago, the 1st case of the Delta variant was detected in the US, and now cases here are rapidly multiplying.
According to Inci Yildirim, a Yale Medicine pediatric infectious diseases specialist, and a vaccinologist, “All viruses evolve over time and undergo changes as they spread and replicate.” But the thing that is unique about Delta is how quickly it’s spreading, says F.Perry Wilson, a Yale Medicine epidemiologist. He said, around the world, “Delta will certainly accelerate the pandemic.” So far, people who have taken the Covid vaccine are safe from the Delta variant, but people who are not vaccinated are at high risk.
The B.1.617.2. the variant, a SARS-CoV-2 mutation, is called the Delta variant that initially surfaced in India. In December 2020, it was 1st detected, and it spread rapidly. Now it became a dominant strain of the virus in both Great Britain and India. According to CDC, towards the end of June, Delta had already made up more than 20% of cases in the US. That number is rising swiftly, and now it is being predicted that it will become a dominant strain in the US as well.
The WHO has called this version of the virus “the fastest and fittest.” In mid-June, CDC called Delta a variant of concern. Wilson says if Delta continues to move fast enough to accelerate the pandemic, the most critical questions will be about the transmissibility. How fast will it spread, and how many people will be affected? Some experts say the US in a good position because of the high vaccine rate.
According to Wilson, “Based on hospitalizations tracked in Great Britain [which has been about a month ahead of the US with Delta], the variant is probably a bit more pathogenetic.” The symptoms of this new variant are different from the original Covid strain, Yildirim says. “It seems like cough and loss of smell are less common. And headache, sore throat, runny nose, and fever are present based on the most recent surveys in the UK, where more than 90% of the cases are due to the Delta strain,” she says.