Despite that, for the first time in over a year, the world is feeling some hope that the pandemic could retreat to the background, experts want the public to know that there is still an apprehension that new mutations of the virus could bring it back through the COVID-19 Delta Variant, and it may even be stronger.
The said new variant, ScienceAlert reported, is a highly contagious and potentially more severe COVID-19 virus strain, which was initially detected in India in December 2020.
It then cleared fast through that country and in Great Britain, which has resulted in increasing numbers of contagions and deaths.
The first case of the COVID-19 Delta variant in the United States was diagnosed in March this year, and now cases are multiplying so fast.
Viruses Evolve Over Time
Yale Medicine pediatric infectious diseases specialist and vaccinologist Inci Yildirim is not surprised by what is taking place. All viruses are evolving over time and go through changes as they transmit and duplicate.
However, according to Yale Medicine Epidemiologist F. Perry Wilson, one thing that is unique about the COVID-19 Delta variant is how quickly it is transmitting. Globally, he added, this variant will definitely fast-track the pandemic.
From what has been known so far, according to the doctors, those who are vaccinated against the COVID-19 seem to be safe from the Delta variant, although anyone who has not been vaccinated and not practicing preventive approaches is at risk for infection by the new variant.
A More Contagious Variant
This COVID-19 Delta variant, described in the WebMD site, is the name for the B.1.617.2., a COVID-19 mutation that initially surfaced in India. Toward the end of June, this variant had already comprised more than 20 percent of cases in the US, based on the estimate of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
That figure is increasing swiftly, prompting forecasts that the variant will soon turn out to be the dominant variant in the US. In relation to this, the World Health Organization has called this type of virus "the fastest and fittest."
In the middle of June, the CDC named Delta as a variant of concern, through the use of a designation also given to the Alpha variant that initially occurred in Great Britain, the Beta train that initially appeared in South Africa, the two Epsilon variants initially diagnosed in the US, and the Gamma strain detected in Brazil.
Wilson explained it is actually quite dramatic how much growth range will change. Delta, he added, is spreading 50 percent more rapidly than Alpha, which was 50 percent more infectious compared to the original strain of the SARS-CoV-2, making the new variant 75 percent more infectious compared to the original.
Unvaccinated People and Younger Age Groups at Risk
Individuals who have not been vaccinated for protection against COVID-19 are most at risk. In the US, there is an inconsistent number of unvaccinated individuals in the Southern and Appalachian states, which include Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, West Virginia, and Missouri, where there are low vaccination rates.
In connection to this, Yildirim explained, a recent study from the United Kingdom presented that children and adults below 50 years old were found to be 2.5 times more possible to become infected with the COVID-19 Delta variant.
And thus far, no vaccine has been authorized for children aged five to 12 years in the US, even though this country and a number of other nations have either approved vaccines for adolescents and young kids or are considering them.
A CNBC report specified, as older age groups are getting a vaccination, those who are younger and unvaccinated will be at a greater risk of getting infected with COVID-19 with any variant.
However, she added, Delta appears to be affecting younger age groups compared to the earlier or previous variants.
A related report is shown on NBC News's YouTube video below:
RELATED ARTICLE: WHO Recommends to Wear Mask Indoors Regardless of Vaccination Status
Check out more news and information on COVID-19 on Science Times.