The second wave of the super contagious Coronavirus is slowly fading away, but the danger of another wave is already lurking large. Even before we could understand the aftermath caused by the second wave completely, the news of the newly found variant of the Covid Delta – Delta Plus variant is sending jitters among doctors and the general public alike.
The lockdown that was being strictly imposed across the country is now being slowly lifted and life is limping back to normalcy. However, a few Delta Plus variant cases are already being recorded in states like Maharashtra, Kerala, and Madhya Pradesh and have been declared as a Variant of Concern (VOC) by the authorities.
Doctors believe that this new Delta Plus Variant is characterized by higher transmissibility, virulence and can open up a pandora’s box if not handled properly. It is susceptible to the mucosal linings in the lungs when compared to other variants that were detected so far.
The new Delta plus variant is also known as AY.1 variant is characterized by a mutation called K417N — which was first discovered in the Beta variant that originated in South Africa. Just like its predecessor delta variant, this new mutation can be a super spreader.
It was first detected in Europe in March this year and was later noticed in 9 other countries including UK, USA, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, Poland, Nepal, China, and Russia. Scientists are yet to find out if this new variant will affect those already immune to either pre-existing Delta or Beta variants.
This particular mutation is characterized by alterations in the genetic material of the original virus SARS-CoV-2. Being an RNA it has around 30,000 pairs of amino acids and an alteration can affect the behavior of the virus causing multiple mutations in the spike protein.
Most symptoms of the Delta Plus variant can mimic regular coronavirus warning signs. While the loss of smell, loss of taste, fever, cold, cough is common, it may cause severe symptoms including:
According to the available data, this particular variant’s transmissible rate is much higher and can be resistant to medications that are being used currently for curing the Delta variant. Another major concern that it might bypass immunity and can be resistant to vaccines.
With very few cases being detected so far, it is a tad early to determine if vaccines that are being currently administered in India are effective against this mutation. However, it is strongly recommended to get vaccinated at the earliest and strictly follow all coronavirus appropriate behavior including maintaining social distancing, washing hands with sanitizers, wearing a mask, and stepping out of the house only if required.
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