The delta variant of COVID-19 causing India’s second wave of disease, is believed to be linked to symptoms not previously seen in COVID patients, according to an article on Bloomberg.
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Hearing impairment, blood clots leading to gangrene, and “severe gastric upsets,” are being seen by doctors in India, England, and Scotland, where the B.1.617.2 delta strain is prevalent and are more likely to lead to hospitalization, Bloomberg reported.
India has reported 18.6 million cases of COVID so far this year compared to 10.3 million last year; the delta strain is believed to be 50% more contagious than the previous alpha strain, according to Bloomberg, leading to a surge in cases and COVID-related complications.
The delta variant has also spread to countries that previously reported few COVID-19 cases such as Vietnam, Singapore, and Taiwan. It’s possible that current vaccines will need to be tweaked or reformulated to account for new variants.
“New vaccines have to be prepared with new variants in mind,” said Abdul Ghafur, an infectious disease physician at the Apollo Hospital in Chennai, who was quoted in the Bloomberg article. “We can’t get ahead of the virus, but at least we can keep up with it.”
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