What is the Delta Variant?

Aug 20, 2021 | COVID-19, Lab Testing, Medical

Delta variant is a variant strain of the Covid-19 virus. First identified in India, delta variant has now been found in all 50 states and in 100 countries worldwide. Because of its rapid spread, delta variant is now considered the dominant strain of Covid-19 in the United States.

Delta variant is highly contagious, accounting for more than ½ of all new Covid infections since early July. In fact, the World Health Organization claims it is the “most transmissible of variants identified so far.” Studies have suggested this variant is 40% to 60% more transmissible than the alpha strain. Research suggests delta variant spreads so quickly because it replicates much more quickly within its host and is also expelled by them in much larger quantities.

As far as symptoms go, some studies have shown delta variant may cause more severe illness than previous strains, especially in those who have not received the Covid-19 vaccine. Symptoms typically appear to be the same as previous strains and include cough, headache, fever, body aches, sore throat, and loss of taste and/or smell.

Delta variant appears to be associated with increased incidences among younger patients, believed to be a result of increased socialization among this demographic. Although rare, breakthrough cases of delta variant have been documented in vaccinated individuals. Although these breakthrough illnesses appear to be just as contagious as in those who are unvaccinated, they do appear to be infectious for a much shorter period of time.

As always, if you suspect you have been exposed to the Covid-19 virus, contact your local healthcare provider for evaluation and testing.