COVID-19: What is Delta plus? Is it more dangerous than other strains?

The Delta plus variant of COVID-19 has been fast spreading across the globe. This has raised alarm bells among the policy makers – with some of them scared, while others adopting a wait and watch strategy.

The three countries, which have seen a heavy surge in the caseload in the recent past, are – the UK, Indonesia and South Africa. In Indonesia, the last month’s Eid – one of the biggest Muslim festivals –  turned out to be a super-spreader event as workers flocked back to their hometowns, sending COVID-19 protocols for a toss. South Africa, on the other hand, has officially said that it has entered the third wave of the pandemic.

However, in case of the UK, the situation is a lot different. The virus has mutated there and is digging its claws deeper into the country. As a result of the new strain, the weekly caseload of UK has surged by 44% to 79,480 in last seven days. Almost half of these cases are from the new variant.

Such has been the impact of the new strain that US President Joe Biden has issued an ominous warning about more deaths. “Six hundred thousand-plus Americans have died, and with this delta variant you know there’s going to be others as well. You know it’s going to happen. We’ve got to get young people vaccinated,” Mr Biden said while speaking at North Carolina.

India, which is coming out of the deadly tentacles of the second wave, has called Delta plus a “variant of concern,” and the policymakers fear that it could potentially be more transmissible.

How do you know you have been infected with new ?

COVID-19 has thrown up a gamut of symptoms on its victims so far. The common ones have been – the loss of sense of taste and smell, fever, and dry cough. In some cases, people suffered from diarrhea as well. However, most of the deaths by COVID-19 happened due to hypoxia or happy hypoxia. In short, hypoxia is a situation when the oxygen saturation of the human body falls below the normal level of 90%. Usually, a person feels breathlessness in the hypoxia attack. However, when it comes to COVID-19, people were faced with happy hypoxia – a situation when the oxygen level drops severely, and the patient is unaware of it. Hypoxia damages internal organs in the human body due to the lack of oxygen. Other than these, pneumonia was one of the earliest detected symptoms of COVID-19. So, to battle the virus we must know what its symptoms are – headaches, sore throats, runny noses, and fever.

So, what is Delta plus variant?

The new strain – Delta plus variant – has been formed due to a mutation in the existing Delta or B.1.617.2 variant – the variant that originated from India. The Delta plus variant is seen as being resistant to monoclonal antibodies cocktail. This fresh mutated strain of Delta is said to have been first detected in Europe in March 2021, although it came to the fore only in early June. Even as it is still under investigation, experts believe that the Delta plus variant has increased transmissibility. However, as it is a new variant, the severity of the strain is still unknown.

Can I save myself from Delta plus by vaccine?

Experts say that it is too early to predict the effect of the vaccine on this new strain. But there has been a massive rise in fears about the second wave.

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