The fattest, fittest and most formidable version of the coronavirus is the Delta variant but there are upending assumptions about the disease even as nations loosen restrictions and open their economies, according to virologists and epidemiologists.
Amid all these vaccine protection remains very strong against severe infections and hospitalisations caused by any version of the virus, and according to leading Covid-19 experts, those who are most at risk are still unvaccinated.
The most dangerous part about the Delta variant is not that it makes people more sick but it spreads far more easily from person to person and this increases the risk of infections and hospitalisations among the unvaccinated. As well as there are evidences that are also increasing that is capable of spreading infection in fully vaccinated people at a greater speed than previous versions, and there have been concerns that they may even spread the virus, said the experts.
Microbiologist Sharon Peacock said,“The biggest risk to the world at the moment is simply Delta.”
Until there is more data on its transmission, according to experts masks, social distancing and other measures are set aside in countries with broad vaccination campaigns may again be needed.
The Pfizer vaccine, one of the most effective against Covid-19 so far that appeared only 41% effective at halting symptomatic infections in Israel over the past month as the Delta variant spread.
Those hospitalised in Britain with the Delta variant, 58.3% were unvaccinated and 22.8% were fully vaccinated said Public Health England. In Singapore, 75% of its cases occurred among vaccinated individuals, where Delta is the most common variant.
Israeli officials said 60% of current hospitalised cases were in vaccinated people.
About 83% of new infections of Delta variant are seen in the US. So far, unvaccinated people represent nearly 97% of severe cases according to reports.
According to a study in China it was found that people infected with the Delta variant carry 1,000 times more virus in their noses compared with the ancestral Wuhan strain.
“You may actually excrete more virus and that’s why it’s more transmissible. That’s still being investigated,” Peacock said.
“It’s outcompeting all other viruses because it just spreads so much more efficiently,” said virologist Shane Crotty.
Genomics expert Eric Topolnoted that Delta infections have a shorter incubation period and a far higher amount of viral particles.
“That’s why the vaccines are going to be challenged. The people who are vaccinated have got to be especially careful. This is a tough one,” Topol told reuters.