It is more than 18 months now that the world is in the grip of the deadly coronavirus which has infected millions of people worldwide. As the vaccination drive is taking the lead, there is a new COVID-19 variant that has become a major cause of concern among people. Earlier this month the World Health Organisation declared the rapid spread of the Delta variant which was also a possible reason for the second coronavirus wave in India. This strain which was first identified in India has now mutated to form another highly transmissible variant Delta Plus. At the outset of the pandemic, government agencies and health authorities scrambled to inform people on how to identify symptoms of the virus. However, some common symptoms such as fever, headache, and loss of smell were identified as the warning symptoms of coronavirus infection. But as the virus has evolved, it seems the most common symptoms have changed too.
Beware! New COVID-19 Symptoms Linked To Delta Variant Is Here
Emerging data suggest people infected with the Delta variant the variant possibly behind the spike in the infections in the second wave of COVID-19 around the world are experiencing symptoms different to those we commonly associated with COVID earlier in the pandemic.
Humans are dynamic. With our differences come different immune systems. This means the same virus can produce different signs and symptoms in different ways. A sign is something that’s seen, such as a rash. A symptom is something that’s felt, like a sore throat. The way a virus causes illness is dependent on two key factors:
- Viral factors include things like speed of replication, modes of transmission, and so on. Viral factors change as the virus evolves.
- Host factors are specific to the individual. Age, gender, medications, diet, exercise, health, and stress can all affect host factors.
Common Signs And Symptoms of Delta Variant
As the coronavirus is mutating, the experts have warned that the most common COVID symptoms may have changed from those that were traditionally associated with the virus infection. While fever and cough have always been common COVID symptoms, and headache and sore throat have traditionally presented for some people, a runny nose was rarely reported in earlier data. Meanwhile, loss of smell, which was originally quite common, now ranks ninth.
There are a few reasons we could be seeing the symptoms evolving in this way. It may be because data were originally coming mainly from patients presenting to the hospital who were, therefore, likely to be sicker. And given the higher rates of vaccination coverage in older age groups, younger people are now accounting for a greater proportion of COVID cases, and they tend to experience milder symptoms.
The reason why younger ones could experience milder symptoms of coronavirus infection could be because of the evolution of the virus, and the different characteristics (viral factors) of the Delta variant. But why exactly symptoms could be changing remains uncertain.
While we still have more to learn about the Delta variant, this emerging data is important because it shows us that what we might think of as just a mild winter cold a runny nose and a sore throat could be a case of COVID-19. The reports from the recent research have also highlighted the power of public science. At the same time, we need to remember the results haven’t yet been fully analysed or stratified. That is, “host factors” such as age, gender, other illnesses, medications, and so on haven’t been accounted for, as they would in a rigorous clinical trial. And as is the case with all self-reported data, we have to acknowledge there may be some flaws in the results.
Does COVID-19 Vaccination Affect The Symptoms?
Although new COVID-19 variants can compromise the effectiveness of vaccines, for Delta, the vaccines such as Pfizer and AstraZeneca still appear to offer good protection against symptomatic COVID-19 after two doses. according to the reports, both vaccines have been shown to offer greater than 90% protection from a severe disease requiring hospital treatment.
A recent “superspreader” event in New South Wales highlighted the importance of vaccination. Of 30 people who attended this birthday party, reports indicated none of the 24 people who became infected with the Delta variant had been vaccinated. The six vaccinated people at the party did not contract COVID-19. In some cases, the infection may still possible after vaccination, but it’s highly likely the viral load will be lower and symptoms much milder than they would without vaccination.
Delta Is Spreading Here’s What You Can Do
Evidence indicating Delta is more infectious compared to the original SARS-CoV-2 and other variants of the virus are building. It’s important to understand the environment is also changing. People have become more complacent with social distancing, seasons change, vaccination rates vary all these factors affect the data. But scientists are becoming more confident the Delta variant represents a more transmissible SARS-CoV-2 strain.
(With inputs from Agencies)
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Peel Region reports its first confirmed case of monkeypox – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
Peel Region has its first confirmed case of monkeypox.
According to Peel Public Health, the person infected is an adult male in his 30s who lives in Mississauga.
The heath unit said the risk to the public remains low.
Monkeypox, which comes from the same virus family as smallpox, spreads though close contact with an infected individual. Most transmission happens through close contact with the skin lesions of monkeypox, but the virus can also be spread by large droplets or by sharing contaminated items.
To reduce risk of infection, people are advised to be cautious when engaging in intimate activities with others. Vaccination is available for high-risk contacts of cases and for those deemed at high risk of exposure to monkeypox.
Symptoms can include fever, headache, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash/lesions, which could appear on the face or genitals and then spread to other areas.
Anyone who develops these symptoms should contact their healthcare provider and avoid close contact with others until they have improved and rash/lesions have healed.
While most people recover on their own without treatment, those who have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for monkeypox should self-monitor for symptoms, and contact PPH to see if they are eligible for vaccination.
The Mississauga case is at least the 34th confirmed case of the disease in Ontario, with dozens more under investigation.
Monkeypox case count rises to more than 3400 globally, WHO says – The Globe and Mail
More than 3,400 confirmed monkeypox cases and one death were reported to the World Health Organization as of last Wednesday, with a majority of them from Europe, the agency said in an update on Monday.
WHO said that since June 17, 1,310 new cases were reported to the agency, with eight new countries reporting monkeypox cases.
Monkeypox is not yet a global health emergency, WHO ruled last week, although WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was deeply concerned about the outbreak.
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Sudbury news: Northern agencies highlight national HIV testing day | CTV News – CTV News Northern Ontario
Monday was national HIV testing day. Officials say this year’s theme surrounds how getting tested is an act of self-care.
From clinics to self-testing kits, groups in the north say there are many options to get tested and everyone should use whichever way works best for them.
Just more than a year ago, Reseau Access Network in Sudbury teamed with Ready to Know and Get a Kit, groups that provide HIV self-testing kits at a pickup location.
Officials said it has been a huge success.
“We get a consistent number throughout each month and I can’t really divulge those figures, unfortunately, but as part of the overall study I can tell you the pickup of self-tests is a fraction of the amount of tests being ordered,” said Angel Riess, of Reseau Access Network.
“There’s actually a lot of tests being shipped to homes directly but I can confirm that they have been active and there’s a significant number of people who have chosen to engage in both programs.”
Elsewhere, the Aids Committee of North Bay and Area held a point-of-care testing clinic to mark the day.
“It’s an opportunity for us to remind everyone that getting tested is essential. If you don’t know you have HIV, you can’t take the steps to try to mitigate the possibility of spread,” said executive director Stacey Mayhall.
In addition to stopping the spread, knowing whether you are positive sooner rather than later can allow for a better quality of life.
“HIV is not a death sentence that it used to be,” said Riess.
“There have been advances in testing and medication and people can live long, healthy lives living with HIV.”
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