The Delta variant is a strain of COVID-19, first detected in India in late 2020, which now has the world in its grasp. Unlike previous variants, this COVID-19 lineage has spike protein variants that may cause it to be much more infectious among the world’s population.
While the general rule is that we should take care against all COVID-19 variants, there are reasons why extra care should be taken with the Delta variant. Here’s what you need to know about this new, dominant form of coronavirus.
It’s More Contagious
Many stockists of medical supplies in Australia have been kept busy providing hospitals and care facilities with all the PPE and medical supplies they need to keep themselves and others safe. However, a constant supply of such equipment might be even more critical due to how contagious the Delta strain of the virus is compared to previous variants.
According to researchers, the Delta variant is at least 50% more contagious than the previous Alpha variant lineage identified in the United Kingdom. This was already a more contagious variant than the original coronavirus discovered in 2019 in China.
It Has Spread Across Many Countries
Even though Australia is already fighting a significant battle against the Delta variant, we’re not alone. Since it was first identified in India, it has now led to several outbreaks around the world. It has been discovered in at least 122 countries since August 2021, and another 22 countries have unverified Delta cases.
It Might Be More Deadly
The original COVID-19 virus was already deadly amongst the vulnerable, with several hundred thousand deaths tied to it. However, the new Delta variant might be even more so.
Current research suggests that the Delta lineage may be tied to increased numbers of hospitalisations and deaths, possibly more so among those who have not been vaccinated.
Symptoms Can Be Similar to Other Variants
Though the COVID-19 Delta variant may be more deadly, it does tend to have similar symptoms to other strains. People with COVID-19 may experience coughs, headaches, sore throats, fevers, and runny noses. A loss of sense of smell and a cough may be less common with the Delta variant than others.
Unvaccinated People May Be Most At Risk
Yale Medicine has reported that the people most at risk of COVID-19, including the Delta variant, are unvaccinated. While evidence in Australia may be lacking, several communities in the United States with low vaccination rates are seeing a jump in case numbers compared to communities with high vaccination rates.
Faster Lockdowns in Australia May Be Necessary
Given the increased infectiousness of this new variant, faster lockdowns in Australia and other countries may be required to curb infection rates and keep vulnerable members of society safe.
According to officials in Australia, a lockdown is necessary to bring case numbers under control and open up states as quickly as possible once more.
Vaccinated People May Be Less Likely to Be Hospitalised
Though vaccinations may not stop everyone from catching COVID-19, current research suggests that those who do catch it may experience fewer symptoms.
Preliminary analysis looking at two doses of Moderna or Pfizer vaccines showed they might be about 88% effective against catching the disease and 96% effective for avoiding hospitalisation with the Delta variant.
There is so much we don’t yet know about COVID-19, even though it has now been around for well over a year. However, what we do understand is that Delta is not to be underestimated. Be considerate, wear your mask, and practice social distancing. Most importantly, follow professional guidance to keep yourself and others as safe as possible.