Concern is mounting over the rebound in the new Delta variant of COVID-19, also known as B.1617.2, which is highly contagious and may be associated with a higher risk of hospitalization than its predecessors according to experts.
This variant has already caused a public health crisis in India and has spread across 60% of the UK, sparking alarm among top US public health officials.
Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday that the Delta variant accounts for more than 6% of the cases that scientists have been able to sequence in the United States, while he added that B.1617.2 is rapidly emerging as the dominant variant in the United Kingdom.
Fauci, along with other leading health experts, urged Americans to get vaccinated to prevent the spread of this strain in the United States. But how effective are vaccines against the variant, and how are its symptoms different from previous COVID-19 sequences?
What are the symptoms of the Delta variant of COVID-19?
The Delta variant of COVID-19, first documented in India in October 2020, is highly communicable and could lead to increased hospitalizations, putting more pressure on healthcare resources and ultimately more deaths based on reports. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The variant’s symptoms are said to be more severe than previous COVID-19 variants and specifically linked to gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and loss of appetite, as well as hearing loss, gangrene, and blood clotting. according to the Times of India and other local media.
Doctors in India say that the prevalence of digestive problems and other symptoms as a result of the Delta variant appear to be higher than those caused by the original strain of COVID-19. However, more clinical research is needed to confirm the link.
“We need more scientific research to analyze whether these new clinical manifestations are linked to B.1.617 or not,” Abdul Ghafur, an infectious disease physician at Apollo Hospital in Chennai, told Bloomberg.
Are vaccines effective against the new delta variant of COVID-19?
A recent study by Public Health England recently showed that two doses of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccines are highly effective against the Delta variant of COVID-19.
The study found that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 88% effective against symptomatic variant B.1.617.2 disease two weeks after the second dose, while two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were 60% effective.
The AstraZeneca vaccine has not been approved for use in the United States. However, generally speaking, the Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines have been shown to be very effective in preventing coronavirus disease.
However, booster shots will likely be needed to contain the spread of the virus as the variants continue to spread throughout the United States.