COVID-19 Delta Variant

COVID-19 Delta Variant

The Delta variant is the newest Coronavirus-related threat towards humanity. Delta is a variant of the original SARS-CoV-2 virus and seems to be much more dangerous than the original virus.

Originating in India, the official name for the Delta variant is the B.1.617.2 variant. First discovered in December 2020, it rapidly spread throughout India and eventually Great Britain, becoming the dominant variant in both countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that the Delta variant is now considered a “variant of concern”. Currently, the Delta variant is threatening the United States, with 20% of the cases in the United States in June being the Delta variant. It is possible that the Delta variant will become the dominant strain in the United States as well.

The Delta variant is the most transmissible variant of SARS-CoV-2 as it can potentially avoid the antibodies produced by a patient’s immune system. According to Dr. F. Perry Wilson, a Yale Medicine epidemiologist, this Delta variant is spreading much quicker than the other strains of SARS-CoV-2, 50% faster than the Alpha strain and 75% faster than the original strain. In addition, data suggest that the Delta variant may cause different and more severe symptoms such as headaches, sore throats, and runny noses. A study has found that people infected by the Delta variant were 2x as likely to get hospitalized as those infected with the original SARS-CoV-2.

However, vaccination seems to be able to stop this variant from spreading further. Areas with low vaccine rates in countries with the Delta variant show that the infection rates are rising rapidly. On the other hand, areas with high vaccine rates boast a much lower infection rate. Studies show that many of the well-known vaccines, such as Pfizer-BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca, and Moderna, can withstand the Delta variant and still remain effective towards it.

Vaccination is not the only solution, however. There are other preventative methods that can help prevent the spread of the Delta variant.
Some preventative methods include:

  • Wearing a face mask
  • Social Distancing
  • Staying at home when you are/feel sick
  • Washing your hands often with soap
  • Frequently cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects that you touched
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with dirty hands
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
  • Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Covering your cough or sneeze

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