New Delhi: The Delta variant of coronavirus remains the biggest concern as nations loosen restrictions and open their economies, according to virologists and epidemiologists. The major worry about the Delta variant, first identified in India, is not that it makes people sicker, but that it is far more transmissible, increasing infections and hospitalizations among the unvaccinated. There is also mounting evidence that it is capable of infecting fully vaccinated people at a greater rate than previous versions, and concerns have been raised that they may even spread the virus, reported international news agency Reuters quoting experts on the matter.Also Read - COVID-19 And Air Pollution: This Study Reveals Air Pollution May Increase COVID Severity, Even For Vaccinated
“The biggest risk to the world at the moment is simply Delta,” said microbiologist Sharon Peacock, who runs Britain’s efforts to sequence the genomes of coronavirus variants, calling it the “fittest and fastest variant yet.” Viruses constantly evolve through mutation, with new variants arising. Sometimes these are more dangerous than the original. Until there is more data on Delta variant transmission, disease experts say that masks, social distancing and other measures set aside in countries with broad vaccination campaigns may again be needed, according to the Reuters report. Also Read - Health Awards 2022: IDPL Felicitates Healthcare Warriors Of India
No magic bullet against COVID-19
Public Health England said on Friday that out of a total of 3,692 people hospitalized in Britain with the Delta variant, 58.3% were unvaccinated and 22.8% were fully vaccinated. In Singapore, where Delta is the most common variant, government officials reported on Friday that three-fourths of its coronavirus cases occurred among vaccinated individuals, though none were severely ill. Israeli health officials have said 60% of current hospitalized COVID cases are in vaccinated people. Most of them are aged 60 or older and often have underlying health problems. Also Read - Khosta-2, New COVID-Like Virus Found In Russian Bats, Can Infect Humans - All You Need To Know
In the United States, which has experienced more COVID-19 cases and deaths than any other country, the Delta variant constitutes about 83% of new infections. So far, unvaccinated people represent nearly 97% of severe cases. “There is always the illusion that there is a magic bullet that will solve all our problems. The coronavirus is teaching us a lesson,” Nadav Davidovitch, director of Ben Gurion University’s school of public health in Israel was quoted as saying by Reuters.
1,000 times more viral load
A study in China found that people infected with the Delta Variant carry 1,000 times more virus in their noses compared with the original strain first identified in Wuhan in 2019, the Reuters report added. “You may actually excrete more virus and that’s why it’s more transmissible. That’s still being investigated,” Peacock said.