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Current Affairs

The delta variant

Date: 24 June 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The prevalence of the super-contagious variety of the delta variant has increased tremendously in last few weeks in the US.

 

Background

The delta variant first emerged in India through the process of double mutation. It has since been termed as variant of concern by WHO.

 

Details

  • Since its first emergence in India, this variety has rapidly spread across the globe including the UK and US.

  • The numbers may have been rising steadily but it is not much of a concern as vaccination process is slowly gaining pace.

  • There is also no clear idea about the impact it may have there. Some experts feel that vital gains made by vaccination may be lost due to the virus.

 

The delta variant

  • The delta variant has higher transmission capacity compared to the original version of the Wuhan virus.

  • The contagiousness of the virus may vary and it is assumed to be at least 50 percent more easily transmissible than the Alpha variant of UK.

  • The variant has been able to evade monoclonal and antibody treatment methods. The antibodies made by the body during previous infection are also evaded.

  • The severity of illness caused by the delta variant is likely to increase. It doubles the chances of hospitalisation due to severe Covid-19.

 

Protection against delta variant

The delta variant is less likely to cause severe disease to people who are fully vaccinated. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was found 88 percent effective against this variant.