The Delta Variant was recognized as the COVID-19 variant of concern in May this year, and it has been proven not easy to control in unvaccinated populations.

ZME Science report said this variant has been able to out-compete other strains, including Alpha. Variants are categorized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as "of concern" as they are either more infectious compared to the original, lead to more hospital admissions and deaths, or are more efficient at evading vaccines and treatments. Or worse, all of those, as mentioned earlier.

The R0 specifies the number of my other individuals; on average, an infected person will transmit the virus. Delta has explicitly an R0 of five to eight, which means one infected individual transmits the virus into five others, averagely.

The said number is compared with an R0 pf 1.5 to three of the original variant. Therefore, the Delta variant is double to five times as infectious as the virus that circulated last year.

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Science Times - Delta Variant: How Much Do We Know About This COVID-19 Strain in Terms of Level of Infection, and How Fatal Is It?
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A doctor administers a dose of the Moderna vaccine in a temporary vaccination center in Berlin, Germany.

A Person's Exposure to Delta

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that's causing the COVID-19 disease. It is spread through droplets infected individual releases when he breathes, sneezes, or coughs.

In certain conditions, transmission takes place too, when an individual is touching a contaminated object, then touches his face after.

Once SARS-CoV-2 enters the body, typically through his nose or mouth, it begins to duplicate. The time from exposure to the virus identified by a PCR test is also known as the latent period.

For the Delta variant, one research suggests, "this is an average of four days, with a three- to the five-day range. That's two days from the original variant, which took approximately six days with a five- to the eight-day range.

The virus then continuously replicates, although frequently, and though there are no symptoms experienced yet, the person has turned infectious.

When is a COVID-19 Patient Most Infectious?

People who have COVID-19 seem to be more infectious two days before to three days following the onset of the symptoms, although it is unclear if this has a difference from the Delta variant.

The time from exposure to symptoms is also known as the "incubation period." However, it is frequently a gap between a person becoming infectious to other people and exhibiting symptoms.

As the virus duplicates, the viral load increases. A Nature journal report said that the viral load is up to approximately 1,200 times higher than the original variant for the Delta variant.

With more rapid duplication and higher viral loads, it is easy to see why delta serves as a challenge for contact tracers, not to mention transmitting so fast.

Delta Complications

Similar to the original strain, the Delta variant can impact many of the body's organs, which include the heart, kidneys, and organs.

Complications may include blood clots, which, at their most severe, can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Approximately 10 to 30 percent of people who have COVID-19 will suffer prolonged symptoms, also called long-COVID, which can last for months and cause substantial impairment, including those who were well before.

Evidence that the Delta variant is making people more ill compared to the original virus has grown. Initial research from Canada and Singapore showed that people infected with the Delta variant were more likely to require hospital admissions and were at greater risk of dying than those with the original strain.

In the Canadian research, Delta led to a 6.1-percent chance of hospital admission and a 1.6-percent chance of admission at the intensive care unit. This percentage is comparable with other variants of concern which hit 5.4 percent of those in hospital and 1.2 percent in intensive care.

COVID-19 Vaccines Against Delta Variant

So far, the data have shown a complete course of the COVID-19 vaccines, including AstraZeneca, Moderna, and Pfizer reduces one's chance of severe disease that requires hospitalization by more than 85 percent.

While there is lower protection for Delta compared to the original strain, studies show favorable coverage for all vaccines following two doses.

Furthermore, according to medical experts, even after getting fully vaccinated, one can still be infected with COVID-19. Breakthrough infection occurs when a vaccinated individual tests positive for COVID-19, regardless of whether they are experiencing symptoms.

Related information about the symptoms of the COVID-19 Delta variant is shown on Global News's YouTube video below:


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