Delta is the name for the B.1.617.2. variant, a severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) mutation that originally surfaced in India. The Delta variant case was first identified in December 2020, and the strain spread rapidly, currently it is one of the dominant strains of the virus in both India and then Great Britain. By the end of June, Delta had already accounted for more than 20% of all cases in the United States, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates. In other countries, the number of cases is constantly rising, prompting predictions that the strain will soon become the dominant variant.
What are the most common symptoms of the Delta variant?
The symptoms of Delta variant are pretty similar to those seen with the original coronavirus strain and other variants, such as:
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:
- Dry cough
Other common symptoms may affect some patients are:
- Loss of taste or smell
- Nasal congestion
- Sore throat
- Muscle or joint pain
- Different types of skin rash
- Nausea or vomiting
- Chills or dizziness
Symptoms of severe COVID‐19 disease are:
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
- Persistent chest pain or chest tightness
- High temperature (above 38 °C)
Other less common symptoms are:
- Reduced consciousness (sometimes associated with seizures)
- Sleep disorders
- Uncommonly severe cases with neurological complications such as strokes, brain inflammation, delirium and nerve damage.
At the same time, some patients with COVID-19 in the U.K. have reported that they experienced symptoms that are slightly different for Delta, according to data from the ZOE COVID Symptom Study, showing that cough and loss of smell seem to be less common. Meanwhile, headache, sore throat, runny nose, and fever seem to be more common.
On average it takes 5–6 days from when someone is infected with the virus for symptoms to show, however it can take up to 14 days.
What does the Delta variant mean for the vaccination?
Scientists are looking at how the Delta variant can cause outbreaks of cases, or infections among people who are fully vaccinated. So far, the relations seem to be rare.
In a preliminary analysis, two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine appeared to be about 88% effective against the disease and 96% effective against hospitalization with the Delta variant, according to Public Health England. The AstraZeneca vaccine, however, which has not been authorized for use in the U.S. was about 60% effective against the disease and 93% effective against hospitalization with the Delta variant.
At the time being, vaccine makers and companies are testing booster shots to find out if they can provide better protection against the Delta variant and other variants that emerge in coming months. Pfizer has announced that it will seek FDA authorization for a booster dose in August.
Although the Delta variant of corona virus has caused outbreaks in multiple countries, fortunately unfortunately the symptoms are somehow similar to other strains, only that symptoms such as headache, sore throat, runny nose, and fever are more common compared to other variants. Furthermore, there is evidence showing the well-known brands of Covid 19 vaccine still appear to be safe and effective against the Delta variant. As a responsible Malaysia citizen, receiving Covid 19 vaccine as per schedule is an act of assistance against the pandemic, so please do not hesitate for vaccination.