Indore city has reported the first two cases of Delta + variant of coronavirus. While alpha, beta, and gamma are already doing the rounds, what does the new Delta + mutant hold in store for us? To find all the facts you need to know, keep reading.
What is Delta Plus?
It is an alteration of The Delta variant called K417N and has been classified as ‘of concern’ by the WHO.
The Delta variant was to a great extent responsible for the second wave in the country. Studies show this virus coheres more easily to lung cells and can resist monoclonal antibody therapy (i.e. intravenous infusion of antibodies for treatment).
The alteration of the genome, in general, is a fairly common phenomenon and is called a “variant of interest”.
It changes to a “variant of concern” if it can now be easily transmitted or cause more severe illness or is not diminished by treatment previously used.
Some people also consider the labelling of Delta plus as a variant of concern baseless as there is less experimental data to support it.
Dr Gagandeep Kang, a virologist from the Royal Society of London, said, “There is no data yet to support the variant of concern claim”.
The Delta plus virus has K417N and additional protein on its spike; this is the reason why it might prove to be dangerous.
Along with India, the new strain also contacted people from the UK, South Africa and Brazil. In India, patients from the Delta plus are in three states Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Kerala.
Symptoms and Cause
The symptoms of the new variant are similar to the original novel virus; the difference is in the time within which these manifest themselves.
The Delta plus variant grows more rapidly, so people get sick quickly, especially the younger generation.
There can be dry cough, tiredness or fever earlier and, if exacerbated, shortness of breath and abdominal pain.
It has more chances of affecting the unvaccinated population as they have no resistance to it.
Along with this strain, lambda strain is emerging in South America. Since it is an RNA, it has more than 30000 pairs of amino acids and mutation can affect the behaviour of the virus.
Delta plus has both Delta and beta characteristics; the pessimists suggest that this one can wipe out whole countries.
Most experts say it is too quick to decide anything now; the only solution is to be cautious and maintain preventive measures.
The list of preventive measures is the same as it was a year ago, but there is a greater need to rehash it, as lately people have relaxed more than they should have; Some essential ones are:
1. Do not go to crowded places unnecessarily like markets and railway stations.
2. Try maintaining a distance of 6 feet while interacting with people to prevent direct exposure.
3. Use a sanitiser frequently to disinfect your hands and desk, and chair in a common area.
4. Wash your hands with soap and water for more than 20 2nd several times a day.
5. Before using any item brought from the outside like vegetables and fruits, wash it thoroughly.
6. Be conscious of your health, and if there are any symptoms, immediately rush to the nearest hospital.
7. Use a triple layer mask if possible and avoid sharing personal items like a comb, spoons etc., at the workplace.
8. Mental health also plays an integral part in improving immunity, so consume informative and positive media.
The new strain is a cause of concern, but we do not need to worry; being vigilant is enough. The states which are witnessing its patients are working hard to contain it.