Australia Why the new delta strain of coronavirus is a 'complete game changer'
How the coronavirus Delta variant rampaged through India before spreading across the globe
As Delta rampaged through India undetected, doctors were confounded by the sheer scale of the virus's spread. This is how the COVID-19 variant fuelled a calamitous surge in cases before slipping beyond the country's borders.Daily confirmed infections were in the low hundreds and serological surveys, which detect COVID-19 antibodies in the blood, suggested more than half the city's population had been infected after overcoming three surges.
The extremely dangerous new Delta variant ofhas been labelled a complete game changer in Australia's fight against the virus - with medical experts stressing it makes mass vaccinations more vital than ever.
The Delta strain is far more infectious than the original virus that swept across the world last year and can be passed between people via nothing more than fleeting contact.
Delta has been spread inand Sydney via momentary contact in recent weeks, and the strain has been labelled 'Covid on steroids' by a former senior official.
Delta COVID-19 variant doubles risk of hospitalization compared to Alpha strain, Scottish study finds
A study out of Scotland has found the Delta COVID-19 variant carries double the risk of hospitalization compared to the Alpha strain, particularly in patients with five or more comorbidities. Scotland had determined that the Delta variant became the dominant strain in the country about a month ago. Using the country’s COVID-19 surveillance program, researchers on behalf of Public Health Scotland analyzed data to investigate risk of hospital admission and estimate vaccinate effectiveness at preventing hospital admissions among likely Delta variant cases. The study was published Monday in The Lancet.
A number of experts have identified the Delta variant as the most dominant strain globally after it made infections in the UK spike 50 per cent in just one week.
'It (the Delta strain) completely changes the game,' Melbourne University epidemiologist Professor Tony Blakely told
'If this variant was around last year, there is no way NSW would have controlled its outbreaks through just contact tracing.'
Originating from India, the Delta variant accounts for 96 per cent of current cases in Britain and about 10 per cent of cases in the US.
With more Delta cases potentially emerging in Australia, Professor Blakely feels mass vaccinations are more important than ever so the virus doesn't spread at an alarming rate.
Officials turn up the volume on COVID variants — but does the rhetoric match the threat?
Experts say health officials should let the dust settle on data before coming out with terms such as 'beast' and 'sneaky' and 'havoc'.The World Health Organization puts variants of COVID-19 into two categories: variants of interest, which show the virus has mutations that have caused COVID clusters around the world, and variants of concern, which are more transmissible, more severe, or vaccines or other medications are less effective.
He said since Delta is twice as infectious as previous strains, Australia needs half its population vaccinated if the country wants to control its spread in a similar way to how Covid-19 was controlled in 2020.
To make matters worse, the Delta strain is such a threat both the AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines only work well against it if two doses are taken.
A report byfound that while the two vaccines give around 50 per cent protection against non-Delta variants after just one dose - but Pfizer only offers 36 per cent against Delta after a single dose, while AstraZeneca comes in at just 30 per cent.
In the US, the menacing variant has medical experts equally concerned.
Andy Slavitt, who was the White House Senior Adviser for Covid-19 Response, said the mutant strain is more infectious and is more likely to cause severe disease than other variants.
'It is like Covid on steroids,' he said this week.
virus variant Delta continues to increase in Germany - increase power experts are worried
The Coronavirus variant Delta discovered in India has significantly increased its share of SARS COV 2 new infections in Germany within a week. With 6.2 percent in calendar week 22 (May 31 to 6 June), it continues to remain relatively rare, it says in the recent report by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). During the week earlier (kw 21), the proportion of the delta variant in the tested samples, including late entries, was 3.7 percent.
'You could be around people for less time and still get exposed. So it is yet another reason why people should get vaccinated.'
Also known as B.1.617.2, the Delta strain has also caused havoc in the UK, with hospital numbers rising by 15 per cent in one week once it took hold.
On Friday NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced face masks would be mandatory on public transport for the next five days after the state recorded one more new case of a person infected with the Delta strain.
'We want everybody to wear them to make sure that if the virus is circulating, it doesn't spread,' she said.
The premier added the one additional local case was a man in his 50s who visited Myer at Bondi Junction's Westfield shopping centre in the city's eastern suburbs at the same time as an infected airport worker.
It is also a definitive example of the potency of the Delta strain, with the contact between the two men understood to be brief.
'Our understanding is the initial case was highly infectious, as transmission must have occurred through fleeting exposure,' Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said.
New South Wales has seen four new coronavirus cases since Wednesday, after a 40-day run without a single locally acquired infection.
Low Vax Rates, the Delta Variant, and a Huge Music Festival Make for a ‘Perfect Storm’ in This Colorado County .
For the last seven weeks, health officials in Mesa County, Colorado, have been scrambling to contain the highly transmissible Delta variant of the novel coronavirus. But now, as a huge music festival kicks off, time may be up. As the first location in Colorado to positively identify the presence of the variant deemed potentially more deadly and at least 50 percent more contagious on May 5, the county, nestled at the state’s border with Utah, only had five cases. Within a month, with the vaccination rate in the area low, the variant positivity rate soared 2,500 percent.