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Covid-19: UAE doctors explain symptoms of Delta variant

Filed on June 22, 2021
Reuters

UAE-based doctors highlighted that headache is the most commonplace symptom in the Delta variant.


The Delta variant of Covid-19, which is rapidly circulating in some parts of the world, can be a serious cause of concern, if people remain unvaccinated, as compared to other existing variants.

UAE-based doctors highlighted that headache is the most commonplace symptom in the Delta variant, followed by sore throat, runny nose and fever.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has renamed the multiple different strains of Covid-19 circulating around the world to make them easier to understand.

Doctors explained that the four most commonplace variants have been categorised in line with the four letters of the Greek alphabet namely, Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta.

The Delta variant is the most recently designated ‘variant of concern’, as classified by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Dr Sarla Kumari, Specialist Physician at Canadian Specialist Hospital, Abu Hail, Dubai, said, “it’s one of the four variants most concerning the global health authorities because it’s believed to show increased transmissibility or detrimental change in epidemiology, increased virulence or change in disease presentation and decreased effectiveness towards prevention and control measures.”

Doctors said its other name is B.1.617.2 and it was first detected in India in October last year and is considered highly contagious.

“This is a very sticky virus. As a result, it has done so much damage in such a short time, as it spreads easily, and it also affects young people. A cough is a rarer symptom with this variant, coming in at the fifth most reported indicator and loss of taste or smell doesn’t even make it into the top 10,” added Kumari.

Dr Pulak Gupta, Internal Medicine (General Practitioner), Aster Cedars Hospital, Dubai, said, “The highly transmissible variant of Covid 19- Delta variant is the new deadly variant, and it is hypotheses that changes in the variant’s protein might make it easier to enter human cells and mutation in the delta variant might help it blend better with human cells once it attaches itself. It can easily blend with your cells, it’s able to infect more and overpower your immune system.”

He added, “But again vaccinations such as Pfizer-BioNTech and AstraZeneca have proven to be quite effective against this variant, hospitalisation and severe cases are reported less. In this new variant, headache is mainly reported as the first symptom followed by sore throat, runny nose and fever which remains constant in all the variants.”

While the initial symptoms are mild, which may seem to be like a ‘common cold,’ mostly with a running nose and fever but it develops into a more severe phase in the following week.

Dr Prasanna Kumar, Critical Care Specialist and intensive care unit (ICU) in-charge, Medeor Hospital, Dubai, said, “The patient’s condition starts deteriorating in the second week of illness and they may even require ICU care. In the ICU, patients develop severe coughs, more than what was seen in the patients earlier.”

Doctors reiterated that if people want to further improve their odds of not getting infected, continuing to follow safety protocols such as wearing a mask, social distancing and avoiding crowded places will work in everyone’s favour.

Dr Anil Grover, Specialist, Internal Medicine, Prime Hospital, Dubai, pointed out, “Stopping the spread at the source is the key. Covid-19 appropriate behavior should be continued to reduce transmission which include frequent hand washing, wearing a mask, physical distancing, avoiding crowded places and good ventilation. These measures will continue to work against new variants by reducing the amount of viral transmission and the possibility of the virus to mutate.”

nandini@khaleejtimes.com





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