Why is it dangerous
The World Health Organization classifies the B.1.617.2 strain as "Delta", avoiding the word "Indian" to avoid discrimination. The strain has two mutations in the outer "spike" part of the virus, which attaches to human cells.
The biggest danger with this strain is that not all vaccines can cope with it, the WHO says.
However, don't panic. Although some drugs are less effective against the Delta variant, they can help prevent severe illness and death. One shot of Pfizer vaccine reduces the likelihood of hospitalization with severe Covid-19 by 94%, and the first AstraZeneca vaccine by 71%, according to a study by Public Health England. After the second injection, the effectiveness of these drugs was 96% and 92%, respectively.
For the unvaccinated, the news is not so good: the WHO said that "Delta" could potentially be the most deadly variant of the coronavirus, especially for people at risk. The Indian strain spreads faster from person to person and "will eventually find those vulnerable people who become seriously ill, hospitalized and may die."
As for the symptoms, new ones have been added to the classic coronavirus cough, high fever, loss of smell or taste, the BBC reports.
- sore throat;
- severe runny nose.
In young people, the disease can run like the flu, says Professor Tim Spector, author of the Zoe Covid Symptom study. People who are sick themselves may not feel much discomfort, they can be infectious and endanger the health of others.
Another trend is that the classic symptoms of coronavirus are now becoming less common. If the disease is still accompanied by a high fever, then odor loss is no longer among the ten most popular symptoms.
"The new strain seems to work in a slightly different way. People may feel like they have some sort of seasonal flu, so they continue to interact with other people and can infect them. If you are young, then most likely you will have mild symptoms, it may seem to you that it is just the flu or a slight illness, but please do not leave your house and order yourself a coronavirus test," says Tim Spector.
Than the strain threatens Ukraine
The National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (NAS) warned that Delta could spread in Ukraine faster than in its western neighbors, and have more dire consequences. The reasons are the slow vaccination of the population and the large migration from the Russian Federation.
"The share of the Delta strain in Russia is already about 72%, although the data sample is substantially concentrated in St. Petersburg ... In the Moscow Region, the number of hospitalizations has been growing by 40% per week for three weeks, and less than 11% remain free. bed fund," the National Academy of Sciences reported.
Residents of eastern Ukraine were at risk. The National Academy of Sciences says that the weakening of restrictions on checkpoints on those arriving from the temporarily occupied territories of Donetsk and Luhansk regions increase the risks of an outbreak of the Covid strain in Donbas.
The authorities are already considering how to counter a possible coronavirus outbreak. So, Ukraine can restrict entry from countries where the strain is spreading, and introduce additional controls.
So far, Ukrainian laboratories cannot show the Delta strain, says Mykhailo Radutsky, chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Committee on Nation Health, Medical Assistance, and Health Insurance, on Telegram.
"In Ukraine, there is still no technical ability to independently identify the 'Indian' strain. Recently, the Ministry of Health sent 500 samples from different regions to the London laboratory. We also expect new test systems from WHO that can immediately identify the Delta strain," says Radutsky.
The chairman of the committee noted that there is a risk that the wave will reach Ukraine.
Where it circulates
The Delta strain has already been found in 92 countries.
NAS scientists argue that in countries where this strain has already become dominant (Great Britain, Russian Federation, Portugal), epidemic dynamics is rapidly deteriorating. In the rest of Europe, the Delta strain is rapidly replacing others. It is expected to dominate throughout Europe by the end of the summer.
Countries in which "Delta" already dominates differ in that they passed the last peak around January 2021 and did not have a spring peak, like the countries of Eastern Europe (Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Hungary).
In the UK, according to Public Health England, 99% of confirmed coronavirus sequencing cases are "Delta" variant. The main factor is the number of cases that have been imported as a result of travel. Travelers "brought" this strain at least 500 times.
In Portugal, authorities have banned weekend travel to and from the capital Lisbon. Delta occurs in at least 60% of new cases in Lisbon.
The situation in the UK and Portugal is being watched with concern in other European countries, where they were already going to lift the restrictions. France reported that between 2% and 4% of the virus samples analyzed in the country showed the Delta strain.
In Australia, there has been a sharp jump in the incidence in Sydney. There, the number of cases in the last day was only 10, but the authorities are concerned, since cases of the Delta strain have been identified in the country. The authorities are studying the possible ways of penetration of the strain into the country.
In Kazakhstan, "Delta" reached the capital of the country, Nursultan. The incidence rate in the city has jumped 40% over the past week compared to the previous week. Delta may soon expand outside the capital.