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Delta Plus Variant: Why Delta Plus Variant is Dangerous?
By: Dr. Aditi Sharma
Jul 14, 2021
 

Delta Plus Variant: Why Delta Plus Variant is Dangerous?

Viruses mutate all the time but most of these changes are not a cause of concern. However, some variants arising from these mutations might turn out to be more dangerous. 

A similar phenomenon has been observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. The variants of the SARS-CoV2 virus are being designated with Greek alphabets. Apart from the already known Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Epsilon, and Delta variants, the recently found Delta Plus variant has created a panic situation worldwide.

What is the Delta Plus Covid Variant?

Delta Plus variant is a mutated version of the Delta variant of SARS- CoV2 coronavirus. The Delta variant is also known as B.1.617.2. It was responsible for causing the second wave of coronavirus infection. This variant has further developed mutations of possible significance. These sub-lineages are known as Delta Plus or AY.1. The variant has got a ‘Plus’ designation as it’s still not much different from the original Delta variant to receive its own Greek alphabet letter.

Delta Plus has developed as a result of Delta getting a mutation called K417N in the spike protein. The scientists fear that this mutation has possibly made this variant more infectious than before.

This sub-lineage has been first detected on the Global Initiative on Sharing All Influenza Data (GISAID). The earliest sequences were shared by Europe as a result of routine scanning of variations in Delta. According to government officials, Delta Plus has been reported in 11 countries so far.

Is the Delta Plus Variant More Dangerous?

This variant has been reported only recently. There is not enough data to help distinguish if the Delta Plus variant is more dangerous than the original Delta variant. However, some facts make this variant a cause of worry. Some experts are even apprehensive of a third wave emerging by this new variant of concern

Delta Plus variant has mutations acquired from both the Beta strain and Delta strain. . Both the strains are already amongst the four global variants of concern.

The Delta variant or B.1.617.2 strain has acquired two graded mutations i.e. L452R and P871R. These mutations enable the new mutated variant or delta plus variant to transmit efficiently.

Along with this, the Delta Plus variant has acquired the K417N mutation, which is also present in the Beta variant. This mutation enables the new variant to evade the monoclonal antibody response well.

Therefore the scientists worry that due to these mutations the new Delta Plus variant may be even more dangerous than the Delta variant. According to the officials, these mutations may enable Delta Plus to spread more rapidly from one person to another than Delta variant. It is even reported that the Delta Plus variant spreads about 60 percent faster than the delta strain. Not only this, the mutation in the spike protein can help this variant to latch and enter into the lung tissues much more efficiently than other strains. This can lead to a more aggressive form of the disease. It is also feared that the Delta Plus variant can fight the antibodies as well as vaccines and therapies given in different countries.

Considering this, while WHO has classified Delta as a variant of concern, the Indian government has classified Delta Plus as a new variant of concern in the country.

As of now the prevalence of the Delta Plus variant is low in India but the government is already closely monitoring it. Various public health measures have been increased by enhancing testing, rapid contact tracing as well as priority vaccination.

Does the Delta Variant Have Different Symptoms From COVID-19?

Delta plus variant has somewhat modified symptoms from COVID-19 infection. According to the top virologists in India, the Delta Plus infection shows symptoms from both the parent Delta strain and partner Beta strain. The Delta Plus covid variant symptoms are:-

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Diarrhea
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Skin rash
  • Discoloration of fingers and toes
  • Stomachache
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite

 

What Are The Precautions To Be Taken?

After the decline in cases due to the second wave of COVID-19 the government has lifted restrictions and ended severe lockdowns in large parts of the nation. As a result of this the Delta Plus cases though still, a low number are on a rise. It becomes essential to be aware of the necessary precautions that must be observed to prevent the third wave of COVID-19 to emerge. Being cautious and sticking to covid appropriate behavior seems to be the only way to prevent the spread of this new strain of the virus. Following are Delta Plus variant precautions to be taken:-

  • Social distancing- When outdoors maintain a distance of 6feet or about 2 arm lengths from other peopleAlways maintain a safe distance especially from someone who is sneezing or coughing. Cover nose and mouth with a tissue or bent elbow while coughing or sneezing.
  • Double masking- That is wearing a surgical mask with a cloth mask. This helps to fit the contours of the face better and prevent leakage of any air. This is important to have a stronger barrier against the coronavirus.
  • Washing hands- Clean hands often. One can use soap and water or even an alcohol-based hand rub for keeping their hands clean. Regularly clean and disinfect surfaces and objects which are touched often. Avoid touching face, nose, eyes, or mouth.
  • Stay at home and go out only when unavoidable- When it is necessary to go out of the house make sure to wear a mask. Also when outdoors avoid touching contaminated surfaces. Keep the children indoors. To distract them from going outdoors, introduce the kids to different fun activities. Stay home when not feeling well.
  • Vaccination- COVID vaccination may help to get some immunity against the new variants. On having a fever, cough, and breathing difficulty seek medical attention at the earliest possible.


Is The Indian COVID Vaccine Effective Against The Delta Variant?

According to the experts, the covid-19 vaccines such as Covaxin, Covishield, Pfizer, and Sputnik V have been effective against the Delta variant. However, it is said that the Delta Plus variant has infected even the fully vaccinated people too. Studies are being conducted to find out the efficiency of present covid vaccines against the new Delta Plus variant.

What Is The Role Of Homeopathy In Delta Plus COVID Infection?

The Supreme Court has upheld the Ayush Ministry’s advisory and allowed the use of AYUSH interventions, including homeopathy as an add-on to standard care in COVID-19 treatment.

Studies found that the use of homeopathic medicines was associated with an improvement in various symptoms of covid-19 cases. Homeopathic medicines are also very effective and safe at the same time in treating post covid complications such as fatigue, headache, loss of smell and taste, dizziness, breathing difficulty, chest pain depression or anxiety, etc.

Using prognostic factor research strategy four medicines namely Arsenicum albumPulsatilla nigricansBryonia alba, and Gelsimium sempervirens were found to be most frequently indicated. However, the best homeopathic medicine is the one that is most similar to the cause and manifestation of the disease in any given case. For this, it is advisable to always seek help from a trained homeopathic physician instead of self-drugging at home. This will help to fight the infection more effectively and at the earliest possible.

Conclusion

Delta plus covid variant or AY.1 is the new variant of concern as classified by the Indian government. It has acquired the mutations from both, parent Delta variant and partner Beta variant. The Delta variant originated in India and was responsible for the fierce second wave. On the other hand, the Beta variant is infamous for having the ability to evade the immune response. Therefore the Delta Plus is considered to be even more dangerous than the predecessor Delta variant.

Since the disease outbreak in June, a total of 52 cases of the Delta Plus variant have been recorded in 18 Indian districts so far. Although this variant has so far only a limited number of cases worldwide, it continues to be a cause of concern. This is mainly because the scientists fear that the mutations acquired by the virus might make it more infectious and aggressive in nature.

Therefore to avoid another wave of COVID pandemic, it becomes important not to panic but to follow necessary precautions. On a larger scale, the government has already increased the containment and testing strategies as well as vaccination rates. On an individual level, we should all observe the Covid- appropriate behavior. Keeping hands clean, maintaining social distance, always wearing a mask when outdoors, and getting vaccinated are the essential features of Covid appropriate behavior.

In case when someone experiences any signs and symptoms such as coughfever, breathing difficulty or even stomachache, nausea, diarrhoea, or loss of appetite one must seek medical attention at the earliest.

Apart from standard care for Covid, one can take homeopathic medicine side by side for faster recovery. Homeopathy is found to be very effective and safe in treating even post-Covid complications.

 

 

About The Author

Dr. Aditi Sharma

Dr. Aditi Sharma

Passionate to become a doctor I, Dr. Aditi Sharma, happened to take up Bachelor of Homoeopathic Medicine and Surgery course (BHMS) at the undergraduate level. I pursued this four and half year degree course from Nehru Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital, one of the premier institutes for homoeopathy in India. This was followed by one year of formal internship in both outdoor and indoor patient departments and various dispensaries as part of the same program. Aspiring to change the world with the healing touch of Homoeopathy I took up my first job in a charitable clinic in 2011. Later in 2012 till 2016 I worked as a Homoeopathic consultant at the reputed Dr Batra’s Positive Health clinic. This job gave me a great opportunity to have an exposure to myriad of chronic diseases and the latest technological tools available to help in the treatment of patients. Thus honing my skills and knowledge I started with my own clinical practice which I’m currently running with my husband, a Homoeopath himself, in Indirapuram, Ghaziabad. Realizing the role of mind in either origin or maintenance of most of the chronic diseases prevalent in modern society, I pursued a degree course in MA psychology from IGNOU university. This further enabled me to understand the suffering of patients better and provide them with vital emotional support along with medicinal management in a given case. Along with reading I also enjoy travelling, listening to music, watching movies and art and craft activities as hobbies. I took up to writing these blogs as they give me an opportunity to spread basic awareness about various common diseases to wider range of readers. At the same time through these articles I get the golden chance to introduce the readers with the vital role Homoeopathy, one of the scientific system of medicines, can play to lead their lives towards complete health and happiness.

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