Delta Variant - A new concern for the U.S?

Darshak Rana

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Delta variant — The latest mutation of the Covid-19 strain, which was previously known as B1617.2. Initially detected in India, this deadly delta variant is now slowly creating waves of panic and concern in the U.S.

According to the CDC, among the number of current Covid cases, delta variant accounts for 10%. Not alarming but the beginning of a bigger problem. How?

Assessing the situation of India over the last few days, one thing is certain — Delta is more contagious and detrimental than the others strains found worldwide. CDC has also warned about this in their latest guidelines.

The food and Drug Administration commissioner recently said in his interview(“Face the Nation”) that the delta variant can disrupt the everyday life of the U.S if proper measures are not taken on time.

So, here’s what you must know about the latest strain of the Covid-19.

Why Delta Variant Is a Matter of Concern

Apart from India, delta has been seen causing more trouble in the U.K, where a younger group of 12–20-year-olds were mostly affected. That’s why Dr. Anthony Fauci said during a White House press briefing on June 8 that this age group must be put forward in the priority list for getting vaccinated.

According to the classification scheme used by CDC to define the levels of SARS-CoV-2 variants, the primary type is called the “variant of interest’, followed by the “variant of concern’ and the last and most severe category is called the “variant of high consequence.”

These classifications are made based on various factors like severity of the symptoms, increase in transmissibility, a rapid reduction of the anti-bodies generated by the vaccination, or decreased effectiveness of an individual to fight against these variants in general.

Based on the current nature of the delta variant, it’s termed as the “variant of concern.” However, the good part is it hasn’t shown the signs of high consequence(in the U.S) — the final category of severity.

On the contrary, the Public Health England (PHE) states from their data analysis that delta is 6o% faster in its transmission ability than the alpha variant originally found in the U.K.(Alpha variant was itself more transmissible than the original version of Covid-19.) This also indicates that the risk of hospitalization might increase as the severity of the symptoms escalate.

What Is Your Role

The government, scientists, and higher authorities are already working hard to keep everyone safe from this deadly virus. Yet, there’s an individual role for everyone to play. And that’s simple.

Get vaccinated. Asap!

Why?

Because there’s evidence that the vaccines provided in the U.S are effective against these new variants.Two doses of Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech or one dose of Johnson & Johnson.

A recent study also proves that the Pfizer-BioNTech mRNA vaccine is 88% effective against the delta variant after two weeks of getting the second dose. However, it’s imperative to get both the doses because Pfizer and the Astrazeneca are only 33% effective after three weeks of the first dose.

But there’s good news and bad news.

Good news first. 

The antibodies generated by Pfizer and Moderns mRNA vaccines are effective against the delta variant, as stated by Gottlieb on “Face the Nation.” Also, no variant has yet been classified as the “variant of high consequence.” So, we can still cope up with what we have.

Now the bad news. 

Since the vaccination rates are lower than anticipated, more outbreaks of the delta variant could increase as people will increase their social presence this summer.

According to the latest statistics, 52.6% of the U.S population has already received at least one dose, while 45% have been fully vaccinated.

So, please do your part by getting vaccinated when it’s your turn. But don’t panic about the spread of the delta variant around you. That’s the best you can do to prevent the spreading of unnecessary fear.

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