August 10, 2022

Coronavirus: How are Delta variant symptoms different from the original COVID symptoms? – Times of India


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Over a year has passed since the novel coronavirus impacted our lives in many ways. Not only did it take a massive toll on our lives but also deprived us of our mental well-being. Now, with the new emerging variants, it does not get any better. As per experts, the new variants, like the Delta and Delta Plus variants, have evolved greatly and pose more risk to human life. Additionally, as per recent findings, the symptoms experienced from the Delta variant may also differ from that of the traditional vaccines.

Read more: Coronavirus Delta Plus Variant: Will the Delta Plus variant cause a third COVID wave? Here’s what the Centre has to say

As is known, viruses are programmed to mutate into new strains.
According to the WHO, a virus replicates or makes copies of itself, which is usual. These changes, by definition, are called “mutations”. A virus with one or more new mutations is referred to as a “variant” of the original virus.
That said, when it comes to SARs-COV-2 virus, it has mutated into many strains, of which the Delta variant, also known as the B.1.617.2, is considered to be the most dominant strain till date.
In opposition to the original strain, the mutations can have a difference in genomic sequencing, which may allow them to surpass, or attach themselves to the healthy cells more profoundly. The Delta variant, first identified in the state of Maharashtra last October, is considered to be a cross between E484Q and L452R mutations, which is why it is said to be more infectious and transmissible as compared to the original strain.

Read more: WHO’s alert on Delta+ variant: AIIMS director address some important questions

When it comes to being infected by a viral infection, it can depend on two factors. One pertains to the viral factors, whereas the other involves the host factors.
The viral factors include the rate of infection, the speed of the replication, mode of transmission and more. It changes with the mutation of the virus.
On other hand, host factors take age, gender, medications, diet, exercise, health and stress into consideration.
Therefore, when it comes to signs and symptoms of a particular virus, ample data needs to be collected from individuals to ascertain the most common out of the many.
Since the Delta variant is a mutation of the original strain, it is said that the symptoms may also have altered during the course of mutation. According to a self-reporting system through a mobile app, data from the United Kingdom suggest the most common COVID symptoms may have changed from the original COVID symptoms.
The data collected on the symptoms app suggests that while fever, cough, headache and sore throat remain to be common COVID symptoms, a runny nose was hardly reported in the earlier data. Apart from that, loss of sense of smell, which was originally quite common, now is the ninth most common symptom.
Experts believe that the changes in the symptoms could be a result of vaccination drives. While more older adults are vaccinated, the younger population contribute to the majority of COVID cases and they are more likely to develop mild infections.
Apart from that the evolution of the virus may also be the reason behind the change in symptoms. Given the different characteristics (viral factors) of the Delta variant, the symptoms also tend to alter. However, there is no solid evidence proving the same.

Read more: Coronavirus: Find out who is more at risk of contracting the Delta Variant? Here’s what study has found

There has been a lot of buzz around whether the COVID vaccines will be effective against the Delta or the new emerging variants. While much is under speculation, studies have claimed that certain COVID vaccines can prove effective against the Delta Variant. Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin and Serum Institute of India’s Covishield and Russia-made vaccine Sputnik V are all said to be effective against the Delta variant. In addition, Pfizer BioNTech vaccine is also said to reduce the risk of hospitalisation, according to a UK study.
While researchers are trying to find more answers to the variants and the efficacy of the vaccines against it, it is important that everyone gets their COVID vaccines in time and at all cost.
Even though there’s no 100% certainty that one cannot contract the virus if they are vaccinated, but it surely lowers the symptoms and reduces the chances of getting the virus.
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