Everything You Need to Know About the Delta Variant
By Andrew Guan
The Delta variant, otherwise known as B. 1.617, is a coronavirus first detected in India and is now rampaging freely around the world. This variant is the most “fit” type of coronavirus yet; it spreads the easiest and quickest among all other variants. It dominates the cases in the United Kingdom, and is responsible for most of the covid-19 cases in the country.
Symptoms of the Delta variant have not been thoroughly investigated, but some people have reported flu-like symptoms. Headaches, sore throats, and runny noses have been reported but the loss of taste and smell has yet to be confirmed.
Considering all the bad news, this may sound strange: the Delta variant is not projected to cause large outbreaks across the United States, s Instead, it is predicted to cause small surges in communities where vaccination rates are still low. Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s leading infectious-disease expert, says he is extremely concerned with this new variant because it may create “two Americas,” one with low cases due to a heavily vaccinated population, and one with surging cases because of low vaccination rates.
So far, all three vaccines approved for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration offer relatively strong protection against the Delta variant; however it provides significantly less protection than against the novel coronavirus strand. “I think this is a really important point, because that’s our primary goal with our vaccination effort: to prevent severe disease, to prevent hospitalization, to prevent deaths,” says William Moss, professor of epidemiology at the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Fortunately for children, there does not seem to be a greater risk for people under 16 years old. However, it is highly recommended to quickly vaccinate children before it is too late and to practice regular hygienic procedures, such as washing hands and avoiding close contact with others. “If you haven’t had covid, you’re not vaccinated and you’re not wearing a mask, you’re basically asking for delta trouble,” says Eric Topol, a professor of molecular medicine and executive vice president at Scripps Research.