Omicron VS Delta VS Delta Plus Variants Of COVID-19
Viruses constantly change through mutation. Some of these variants appear and disappear while others may emerge and continue to stay. New variants will continue to emerge. CDC and other public health organizations surveys all variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 in the United States and globally. Scientists follow all variants but may classify specific ones as variants being monitored, variants of concern, variants of interest or variants of high consequence. Some variants seem to transmit more easily and quickly than other variants, which may lead to more cases of COVID-19. Every time we turn around, there’s a new COVID-9 variant at the door. And with the arrival of every variant, more panic seems to start all over the world. While it’s natural being scared of the unknown but simultaneously it’s also good to know that the global scientific community is checking all variants of COVID-19 worldwide. Omicron VS Delta
In 2020, early signals of high vaccine efficiency against both symptomatic and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection at first suggested that COVID-19 vaccines could be used to efficiently suppress viral transmission.
After alpha, beta, gamma, delta, and delta plus a new variant of corona virus has emerged named ‘omicron’ by global health body on 26th November. Increasing number of cases is already being reported in travelers in South Africa, Israel, Hong Kong, Germany, and Botswana. Scientists claimed that this variant originated most probably in South Africa is much more dangerous than delta strain and delta plus strain and more resistant to the immunity acquired by vaccines. This variant has already started spreading in spite of the shutdown of flights. There is some early evidence that this variant can cause severe infection compared to other variants. There is greater probability that people who suffered from COVID-19 and recovered can again become affected with it. Here, in this article a little light was shed on omicron vs delta vs delta plus variants of COVID-19.
Characteristics Of Delta Variant
The B.1.617.2 (delta) variant of SARS-CoV-2 causes COVID-19 infection and spreads more easily than other variants. This variant of the virus was first identified in India, subsequently affected a huge number of people in a number of countries, including the United Kingdom. This variant was designated ‘delta’ by World Health Organization as a Variant of Concern (VOC) on 11th May, 2021. The transmissibility of delta was high observed with higher viral loads and shorter generation time. Increased level of transmissibility was derived from these two characteristics. Within a short time, it was clear that this variant replaced other variants in the population by an apparent fitness advantage. However that may be, it is still not clear that whether the increased transmissibility worked to create alterations in the settings which gives extra advantages to quick transmission of SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, delta variant acquired the properties of immune escape, so it is very useful to evaluate the effectiveness of currently used COVID-19 vaccines against symptomatic delta infection. Delta has affected younger population much harder. Omicron VS Delta
All variants cause similar COVID-19 symptoms. Some variants such as the alpha and delta variants may produce more severe infection, illness and death. The clinical development and global implementation of highly effective vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 has been remarkably rapid. Nonetheless, viral evolution has pursued at speed to the extent that questions are being arisen about the continued effectiveness of first-generation vaccines in the face of variants of concern (VOCs). Specifically, the upsurge of the delta variant (B.1.617.2) to become the dominant virus in most of the world has induced efforts to assess vaccine effectiveness against VOCs and to understand the associated immune mechanisms of protection. This variant has become the dominant form of the corona virus in many countries. Even so, with the emergence and rapid worldwide transmission of the delta variant, it now seems likely that vaccination will not provide complete protection against acquisition and onward transmission of SARS-CoV-2, which will carry on to circulate for the near future. Omicron VS Delta
Covishield had 63% effectiveness against delta variant in second wave and offers 85% protection against moderate-to-severe diseases. A latest study has shown that two-dose vaccination elicited fewer neutralizing antibodies against the delta variant compared to the wild-type variant. But there was no significant reduction in cellular immunity. But another study claimed that two doses of Covishield and Pfizer vaccine may be 90% effective in preventing death due to delta variant. But it is not possible to make comparison between two different vaccines. As a consequence, the aim of population-level vaccination has shifted to protecting both adults and children from developing severe disease, thereby preventing the excess mortality and stress on health-care systems that were observed in the initial phases of the pandemic. Vaccines are highly efficacious against severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Omicron VS Delta
Delta Plus Variant Characteristics
Delta plus variant (AY.4.2) is highly contagious. It causes more severe illness in un-vaccinated people as compared to delta variant. It gets transmitted much easier than the first COVID-19 virus. AY.4.2 is generated due to a mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant, although the effect of this mutation in the virus and therefore in the host is not yet clear. This variant causes similar symptoms like delta variant. This variant is checked by WHO since July this year and is now present in dozens of countries. Most of the cases have occurred in the U.K., but even there, it’s only present in about 6% of the cases.
Mutations can cause vaccine resistance. Till now, there is not enough evidence that this variant is resistant to the vaccines that are currently available and used. The more people get fully vaccinated, the fewer mutations emerge and the less likely we will see a variant that is vaccine-resistant. Omicron VS Delta
Characteristics Of Omicron Variant
Now, a heavily mutated Omicron Variant has emerged and puts scientists on alert recently. According to a recent study, ‘omicron’ is 6 times more transmissible than delta and could infect more vaccinated people. People affected with this newest variant were from 14 countries, they are Britain, France, Germany, Netherlands, Finland, South Africa, Brazil, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, and Singapore. South Africa has confirmed about the finding of this new variant. It will take some time to know whether current vaccines are less effective against it or not. This variant harbors a large number of mutations found in other variants, including delta, and it seems to be transmitting quickly across South Africa. This variant has already reached in Europe by a traveler from Malawi in Africa. Omicron VS Delta
A top priority is to follow this omicron variant more closely as it spreads. It was first identified in Botswana earlier this month and has since turned up in a traveler arriving in Honk Kong from South Africa. Scientists are also trying to understand the variant’s characteristics, such as whether it can evade immune responses elicited by vaccines and whether it causes more or less severe disease than other variants do. This variant can become more dangerous than previous variants although it is too early to say at this time. Scientists are concerned about it from its mutation profile. There are reports of re-infection and infection in vaccinated ones as well. Omicron joins alpha, beta, delta, and gamma on the current WHO list of variants of concern. It is not clear whether this variant is more transmissible than delta or not, this requires some time to find. Genetic analysis shown omicron has higher number of mutations compared to delta. Mutations are acquired in their spike proteins. Omicron VS Delta
The mutations in spike proteins were detected from genome-sequencing data in Botswana. This variant contains more than 30 alterations in spike proteins. Spike proteins recognize ACE2 receptor in lungs in host cells and are the main target of the body’s immune response. Many of the mutations have been found in variants such as delta and alpha, and are associated to heightened infectivity and the ability to evade infection-blocking antibodies.
So, it is obvious that each and every new variant is more dangerous than the previous variant as they are acquiring many mutations in their spike proteins.
Official Website: World Health Organisation
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