The virus behind the Covid-19 pandemic, scientifically known as SARS-CoV-2, is one of a family of coronaviruses that cause flu-like infections. Other common flu types are caused by a handful of other coronaviruses that our bodies have learned how to fight without any severe symptoms. However, something odd happens within each coronavirus family when they jump from person to person – they change slightly, resulting in a variant. The Delta Covid variant is the most recent evolution of Covid-19. Let’s talk more about how it’s different and what to expect.
What are Covid variants?
Viruses are constantly mutating. They do so to try and beat the body’s defenses, and just like any other living organism, survive and spread. Covid variants are such mutations of the original virus, which have evolved as they’ve spread from person to person.
Although there are numerous Covid variants, most die off and disappear, while others do not exhibit any striking qualities. However, some are classified as variants of interest based on how severe their symptoms are, how easily they spread, and how they are treated.
The newest Covid variant, Delta, is one such ‘variant of interest’.
What is the Delta variant?
The Delta Covid variant (also called B.1.617.2) is the fourth major variant the CDC and the World Health Organization have identified globally. The variant is believed to spread much faster than other previous variants and may cause more severe illness.
In the US, the Delta variant now accounts for 98.9% of all reported infections, up from 10% earlier in the year, suggesting that anyone who currently gets Covid-19 will likely be infected with the Delta variant and not any of the other previous or less prevalent variants.
Where did the Delta variant come from?
The WHO first identified this variant in India in late 2020, where it caused significant outbreaks. Over the next several months, it spread globally, and the CDC Global Variant Tracker now shows that 104 countries have reported Delta variant cases. By mid-2021, the Delta variant had become the dominant variant in the UK, US, France, and Germany. Today, it is the most reported variant globally.
How does the Delta variant differ from other variants?
Covid-19 variants differ at a structural level, which makes them behave differently and cause slightly different symptoms. The Delta variant has mutated spike proteins that allow it to latch onto human cells much faster than other variants, resulting in quicker infection and spread rates.
When defining and ranking variants, scientists list them from the least contagious to the most contagious. For example, the Alpha variant is more contagious than the original strain; the Beta more so than Alpha; Gamma more than Beta; and so on. With this ranking, Delta is currently considered the most infectious of all variants.
Another differentiating factor is the virulence of the Delta variant and the severity of illness it causes. Each subsequent variant typically causes more severe illness than the previous variant. Again, with this ranking, Delta is currently considered as causing the most severe illness of all variants.
Delta variant symptoms
Delta Covid variant symptoms are mostly like those of the original coronavirus strain and include:
- Loss of taste and/or smell
- Runny nose
- A persistent cough
- Sore throat
However, some Covid-19 data from the UK indicates that some of the more common symptoms like loss of taste and a persistent cough appear less frequently with the Delta strain Covid virus.
This means that people with the Delta variant may not have obvious symptoms like coughing and sneezing, making it easier to spread unknowingly.
What are Delta covid variant symptoms in children?
Unlike previous variants that mostly left children alone, the Delta variant exacts a significant toll on children under twelve. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that 94,000 Covid-19 cases in children were reported in a single week, numbers not seen with previous variants.
The main symptoms children infected with the Delta variant exhibit are fever and cough. However, scientists say there isn’t enough pediatric data to determine the full extent of symptoms in children.
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Get Tested For The Delta Variant Today – At Home
The Delta Covid variant is currently the most infectious and dangerous variant in the United States and the leading cause of outbreaks. Because of this, testing remains the most effective way individuals can protect themselves and their loved ones from the virus.
If you suspect you might have Covid-19, Drip Hydration offers various in-house Delta variant testing options, including Rapid Antigen, Standard and Rapid PCR, and Antibody tests. Getting tested and identifying the exact strain you have will ensure you get the right course of treatment.
To find out more about our Delta variant testing, give us a call or click the button below for a fast and friendly in-home appointment.