People have feared the Delta variant of Covid-19 ever since it was first detected in India. Now, it is more worrisome as a new study from Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency researchers found that patients infected with the Delta variant have 300 times the viral load compared to the original coronavirus at the start of the pandemic.
The viral load is defined as the amount of virus in the blood. According to Daily Mail, the viral load is notably higher when symptoms start showing but gradually decreases to the same levels as other variants after 10 days.
However, they clarified that this does not mean that the Delta variant is 300 times more infectious than other variants of the coronavirus that emerged in Wuhan in 2019. They believe that the transmission rate is 1.6 times that of the Alpha variant and two times that of the original strain.
Get Tested as Soon as Symptoms Appear
Researchers of the Korean study compared the viral load of over 1,800 patients of Delta variant to more than 22,000 people infected with different strains of COVID-19.
Their findings also suggest that the viral load of the Delta variants falls 30 times compared to the original strain after four days when it has already reached its peak. This is because the body's immune system starts to fight the infection, Daily Mail reported.
The team noted that the viral load of the Delta variant is at its highest as symptoms start to appear, so people should immediately get tested if they develop any symptoms of COVID-19.
The rapid spread of the deadly viral disease, especially its Delta variant, and low vaccination rates have caught many areas in Asia off guard in time when they have started reopening.
Another COVID-19-Like Pandemic Could Strike in 60 Years
COVID-19 is one of the deadliest pandemics so far in the 21st century. Unfortunately, it will not be the last, as predicted by researchers from the University of Padua in Italy.
Their study, titled "Intensity and Frequency of Extreme Novel Epidemics," published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, estimated that another pandemic like COVID-19 would appear within the century.
According to the Duke Global Health Institute's news release, the probability of this happening every year is around 2%. That means a person born in the year 2000 will have a 38% chance of experiencing that by now, and this will most likely increase as pandemic risks and expectations adjust over time.
Will Vaccines Work Against Delta Variant?
As other scientists suggest, vaccines are still the best defense against the Delta variant and other strains of COVID-19. According to Multicare Vitals, getting vaccinated will significantly increase the chances of people being protected from coronavirus and lowers their risk of developing severe symptoms.
The DOH reported that 90% of hospitalizations and deaths in Washington are those 12 years old and above who were not vaccinated. That goes to show how well vaccines work to protect a person and others.
Doctors encourage the public to get vaccinated because as long as large populations are getting infected, the virus will continue to thrive and evolve to a more contagious and lethal form. Therefore, vaccination is the key to protecting communities from COVID-19.
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