The Delta variant of the Covid-19 has been the dominant strain in several countries, and believed to be the driving force behind the second Covid-19 wave. The variant has mutated into a new strain, Delta Plus, which is all the more concerning and has 60% higher transmissibility rate than the original Alpha strain.
Delta variant is causing a spike in the number of cases in South Africa and the United Kingdom. Delta Plus was first detected in UK’s Kent, while Delta variant was first detected in India.
The estimates for doubling rate of the Delta variant is also relatively high, with doubling time ranging from 4.5 days to 11.5 days.
Last month, a detailed study conducted by Scottish researchers revealed that the delta strain doubles the risk of hospitalisation compared with the earlier dominant strain in the UK.
The detailed study was published in The Lancet, a leading medical journal. It stated that those with comorbidities and old age are at higher risk of contracting the delta strain.
Public Health England (PHE) also illustrated the vulnerable group, asserting that the young and unvaccinated are at higher risk of getting infected with the variant.
The Scottish study noticed 19,543 cases and 377 hospitalisations among 5.4 million people in Scotland, 7,723 cases and 134 hospitalisations of which were discovered to have the delta infection.
Two doses of vaccine provide much better protection than one dose against the delta infection, they added.
Meanwhile, the PHE said that Covid-19 vaccines made by Pfizer and AstraZeneca offer higher protection of more than 90% against hospitalisation from the delta infection. Researchers at Pune’s Indian Council of Medical Research-National Institute of Virology (ICMR-NIV) have also claimed that Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin is efficacious in neutralising the delta and beta variants of the Covid-19.
There are some studies, however, which say that delta variant can infect vaccinated people too, though the infection does not turn severe.