The latest Delta variant of the Covid’19 virus has grasped the attention of the whole world. You might have already heard the news that this variant is different and much dangerous than others.
The variant is more contagious than the earlier ones and is prone to making people sicker. The worst part? You can be vaccinated and still get infected and spread the virus at the same level as that of pre-vaccination.
However, various misinformation is being spread online, thus here is some verified information about the Delta you should know and tell others
Five things you should know about the Delta variant:
1. You can get the Delta Virus if you are vaccinated, but the vaccines are still working.
A Morbidly and Morality Weekly report from 30th July stated that from a sample of 470 people belonging to Barnstable County, 350 of them got coronavirus and were fully vaccinated, which adds up to a total of 75%. However, many of the cases were from indoor gatherings and places.
This has a lot to do with the vaccination rate of the country, rather than the inefficiency of the vaccines. The researchers highlight that from July 3, 70% of those eligible in Barnstable County are vaccinated. The vaccines are not 100% effective, which is why the more people get vaccinated, the higher the number of infections of vaccinated patients will be shown.
The same can be estimated for hospitalised patients, a CDC’s calculations state that unvaccinated people are 25 times more likely to be admitted in hospitals than vaccinated individuals. Among the fully vaccinated, 0.1 of 100,000 people will be hospitalised weekly and 0.04 per 100,000 will die each week. This is why vaccination is vital and can save people from hospitalization and worse case scenarios due to the virus.
2. Vaccinated people can spread the Delta variant too, but studies still are unsure of the infection rate.
In a Massachusetts study, research focused on both unvaccinated and vaccinated people unveiled that the delta variant had similar levels of coronavirus genetic material in their noses, as measured by PCR, suggesting similar viral loads.
Thus, it is advised to wear masks, regardless of being vaccinated or not, as masks help slow down the infection rate and save lives.
When a vaccinated person becomes infected and displays symptoms, “we already knew that they’d have higher viral loads, But the immune response jump-started by the vaccine may hamstring many of those viral particles.” says Susan Butler-Wu, a clinical microbiologist at the University of Southern California (as quoted by Science News).
“Many of these viral particles are likely coated in antibodies,” says Brett Lindenbach, a virologist at Yale University, indicating the viral particles are less infectious.
3. The delta variant is more hazardous to health
Three new studies in Canada, Singapore, and Scotland show that the variant increases the chance of hospitalisation, admission in intensive care units, and death.
In Canada, epidemiologist Ashleigh Tuite has concluded through research that the delta variant increases the risk of hospitalisation to 120%, 287% heightened risk of ICU admission, and 137% increased chance of death as shown in reports at medRxiv.org.
In Singapore, On June 7, the server SSRN has discovered that the delta variant is two times the danger of pneumonia as opposed to earlier ones and an increased requirement of oxygen, ICU, and death.
The Lancet has posted a study in Scotland which confirmed that the delta variant increases the hazard of hospitalization contrasted with the alpha variant.
Vaccines do work less on the Delta variant, but they can decrease the risk of death to a great extent. A vaccinated person’s immune system can kick in and decrease the chances of severe illness, but the same cannot be said about unvaccinated patients.
4. Delta is more transmissible than earlier variants
In the end of 2019, an unvaccinated person with the earlier versions of Covid-19 generally transmitted the virus to two to four people on average.
With Covid’s delta variant, an infected person on average will transmit to five or 10 people– that is almost similar to the infection rate of chickenpox.
5. Masks and Vaccination is essential and a must-to-do
The CDC recommends covering the face with coverings and masks and vaccination to prevent the outbreak from worsening.
The masks which are being suggested include N95 and the commonly worn surgical masks. An international group of researchers estimated in June that masks work best in preventing infections from spreading and it is best weapon against the novel coronavirus.
In a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report on June 2, the three-layer cotton cloth masks were also reported to be effective.
Concluding from research work, combining masks with proper ventilation and filtration is the most beneficial. This is evident from research that proved that masks can reduce the spread by 72 percent. Also, masks with HEPA filters can reduce the average particle by 90 percent.
So please don’t forget to wear masks, and get that vaccination shot if you still are waiting for it.
This article is attributed to Science News