How Much Do We Know About Delta Variant?

The Delta variant, which is also called B.1.617.2, is a mutant strain of COVID-19. COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic on March 11, 2020 by The World Health Organization (WHO). After that the virus mutated as it spread throughout the world. Each mutation is assigned a letter (Alpha, Beta, Delta, etc.).

The first instance of Delta variant infection in the United States was reported in March 2021. Now, the Delta variant accounts for 83.2% of all new infections in the U.S. according to the most recent data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Research have reported that the Delta variant:

  • Is 50% more contagious than the original alpha COVID-19 virus strain
  • Is associated with a higher risk of complications and hospitalization
  • Spreads and infects quickly
  • Affects the younger population more often
  • Creates hospitalization risk for unvaccinated individuals

Are vaccines effective against the Delta variant?

All vaccines offer some level of protection against the Delta variant. Vaccination and mask use are therefore crucial in protecting yourself against infection.

  • Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine: 
    • Found to be 36% and 88% effective against symptomatic disease caused by the Delta variant after first and second doses, respectively. 
    • Found to be 94% and 96% effective in preventing hospitalization after first and second doses, respectively.
  • Moderna vaccine: 
    • Uses the same technology as that of Pfizer; therefore, researchers believe it should provide similar protection as that provided by the Pfizer vaccine. 
    • Studies are underway to determine exactly the extent of protection the vaccine offers.
  • AstraZeneca vaccine:
    • Found to be 60% effective against symptomatic disease caused by the Delta variant and 93% effective against complications and hospitalization after both doses.
  • Johnson & Johnson vaccine: 
    • Single-shot vaccine that has been shown to be effective against the Delta variant, although not as protective as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. 
    • Some researchers believe this vaccine has similar results to those of the AstraZeneca vaccine, although more studies are ongoing.

COVID-19 Modes Of Spreads:

When an infected person coughs or sneezes, viral particles are released into the air, and when another person breathes in those particles, they can become infected with the virus. It spreads between people in close contact, within 6 feet. Sometimes, it can spread to a person exposed to small droplets or aerosols containing the virus that stay in the air for several minutes or hours. Moreover, it can spread if a person touches a surface or object with viral particles on it and then touches their mouth, nose, or eyes.

How To Treat The Delta Variant Infection?

Currently, there are no specific treatments for COVID-19, including an infection caused by the Delta variant. Scientists are working on developing treatment methods, and many clinical trials are ongoing. Doctors therefore advise taking precautions such as getting vaccinated, wearing a mask, and maintaining social distance and good hygiene.

People with mild COVID-19 can ease their symptoms with sufficient rest and medications as prescribed by their doctor. Antibiotics do not help because they help treat bacterial infection, not viral infection. Doctors do not advise self-medicating or using herbs to attempt preventing or curing COVID-19.

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