The Delta Variant, also called lineage B.1. is a highly pathogen free genetic variant of SARS-CoV-2; the disease that causes uncontrollable respiratory syndrome. It was first identified in India on 30 May 2021.
The name “delta” is derived from delta (short for delta-aminocyanurate) amino acid. This is an amino acid sequence that triggers a strong inflammatory response in humans. According to research reports, this particular strain of SARS has become increasingly resistant to all known drugs and vaccines over the past several years. The Delta Variants have been identified to cause serious health problems in humans, and need to be monitored carefully by health experts around the world. Here are some of the key facts about this strain and the corresponding variants:
It is important to know that not all strains of SARS are pathogenic. The delta variant of SARS is currently the most problematic for both health care and vaccination authorities. Most patients with this variant require hospitalization and strong antiviral medications. On the other hand, all other strains are easily preventable through vaccines. For this reason, doctors recommend vaccination and hospitalization for all patients with acute respiratory distress who have no other choice. The vast majority of patients can be vaccinated during the first week of the illness, with subsequent doses of medicine given two weeks later.
However, despite the high vaccination rates, some patients still do not have access to these medicines. Many of the countries where the outbreak has occurred have low vaccination rates. In these situations, vaccines are only available on the basis of lottery draws. In addition to low vaccination rates, some regions have imposed prohibitive travel policies that make travel outside of the metropolitan area nearly impossible. These policies, combined with a lack of awareness among the public and in the healthcare system about the risk posed by the delta variant of SARS, have resulted in extremely low vaccination rates.
Also Read: Habits for Better Mental Health
As if this problem were not already problematic enough, researchers have detected another potential danger related to the delta variant of SARS. Specifically, they have found that a significant number of children in the Philippines have been affected by a new strain of PPPV, or pandemic porphyria. The name comes from the fact that this disease is contracted through ingestion of eggs contaminated with PPPV virus. With an estimated annual incidence rate of 10 cases per 100,000 children, this disease is rapidly spreading in the country. With low vaccination coverage and high treatment costs, this disease is expected to surge in the next few years, compromising the nation’s ability to fight off other diseases.
With a high number of un-vaccinated and low vaccination rates, health experts believe that this current epidemic is only the beginning. It is likely that future outbreaks will occur more frequently in other areas of the world where this particular strain is currently active. For the time being, however, they are primarily found in Hong Kong and the Philippines. Both of these nations have seen a large spike in cases over the past two weeks. While Hong Kong has been able to contain most of the outbreak, health experts stress the importance of vaccines for the overall population, as well as those traveling to the Asian nation.
In comparing the Delta Variant to the modern strain, researchers found that both were highly similar in their capacity to produce protective antibodies. They also noted that the modern strain was able to weaken or even stop the actions of the vaccine at several points during the development process. Interestingly, the Delta Variant did not appear to have any adverse affects on individuals who received only one dose of the vaccine, which suggests that it may not be susceptible to multiple doses. In contrast, the modern strain is prone to inducing an increase in antibodies once it is administered twice, as well as producing a greater amount of immune complexes after each injection. The increase in complexity results in a weaker immune response overall.
While researchers are still not completely certain how this particular vaccine is causing its immune evasion, they do believe that the main reason behind it is related to the way that the formula is formulated. It appears that the dosage and form of the vaccine have been tampered with to make the formulation less effective, leading to greater levels of immunity escape. Since most hospitals require a two-dose schedule, this issue could lead to hospitalization for those with a weak immune system, or frequent travel outside of the country.