Delta variant is known as the most transmissible of the variants identified so far by the World Health Organization (WHO). It started in India but has made its way to many countries worldwide. When the world was hoping that the COVID pandemic would end, the new variants of SARS-CoV-2 started showing up. Otherwise known as B.1.617.2 lineage, WHO for ease labeled it as Delta Variant. It is considered a variant of concern (VOC) due to its ‘significantly increase transmissibility’ and ‘growing number of countries reporting outbreaks associated with this variant’.
The rising issue is now its identification. Unlike the previous lineage of the virus or other variants, it doesn’t show classic symptoms of COVID. With the evolution of the virus comes the change in signs and symptoms of the disease and how it manifests in the patients. Let’s have a recap of the classic Covid symptoms; fever, cough, and loss of smell or taste (according to NHS). But in this new strain, the number one symptom is headache, followed by sore throat, runny nose, and fever. Cough, however, stands at the fifth position, and loss of smell doesn’t even make it to the top 10, according to Tim Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London of app-based Zoe Covid symptom study. The UK recently is having a rise in the reported cases of infection due to the Delta variant so that this UK bases app can reflect on the change in these symptoms. The scientists are warning not to confuse the common cold with Covid. As the new symptoms show stark resemblance to the common cold – a runny nose and a sore throat – could be a case of COVID-19. The data is still under consideration and yet to be fully analyzed. Other factors like age, gender, comorbidities, and immune status aren’t yet fully considered.
A sensible question at this point is, does vaccination affect the symptom, and is it effective against Covid? Few studies suggest that the Delta variant can compromise the vaccine’s effectiveness, but there are some Australian vaccines like Pfizer and AstraZeneca, which have proved to offer better protection against the symptoms of COVID-19 after complete two doses. There are cases where infection after vaccination can still be possible but with a much less viral load and milder symptoms than otherwise without vaccination, which means less hospitalization and better recovery.
Now Australia is witnessing a surge in the cases of Delta variant Covid cases, which gives us all a clue not to think that it’s all over and threw away the protective measure. It is still important to understand that with better compliance to preventive methods like social distancing, vaccination, and wearing masks, we as a community can avoid choking the healthcare system and prevent the disease from spreading. It is imperative to understand that the COVID pandemic isn’t over yet, and our choices can impact the future. Getting vaccinated and following public health advice can make a big difference. Remember to get it checked even if you think it is just a ‘common cold.’
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