New symptoms of Delta COVID Variant: 'It may feel like a bad cold or a funny off feeling' – Times of India
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The recent devastation caused by the second wave of coronavirus left millions in a state of chaos and panic. While lax in taking precautions and negligence were two key reasons behind the surge in the number of COVID cases, the new emerging variants also contributed to the havoc.
While many currently make their way back to a partial normalcy, doctors and medical professionals are concerned about the new range of symptoms associated with COVID-19's Delta variant, not categorised as a Variant of Concern (VOC) by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The Delta variant or B.1.617.2 of the COVID-19 infections, refers to the merging of two mutations of a virus strain that go on to form a third, super infectious strain. The B.1.617 variant contains mutations from two separate virus variants, namely E484Q and L452R.
With the help of genome sequencing and sample testing, the first case of double mutation in India was discovered in the state of Maharashtra. Earlier lab results reported a sharp rise in the E484Q and L452R mutations since December.


Read more: Coronavirus new variant: New 'Delta plus' variant in India, all you need to know about the new strain

Given that the delta variant carries the genetic code from two other mutations, E484Q and L452R, it becomes all the more easy for it to break into the human immune system and invade the organs. Additionally, as the new variants tend to alter the structure of the spike protein, it is more efficient in attaching itself to the human host cells and multiplies swiftly, doing more damage than an originally COVID strain.


Read more: Coronavirus: AIIMS study claims Delta variant is highly infectious even for those who are vaccinated

In mild COVID infections, fever, cough, fatigue and loss of sense of smell and taste, remain to be some of the most common symptoms, however, due to the involvement of the variants, there have been some new symptoms that have emerged, according to experts.
According to Prof. Tim Spector, the lead reseacher of Zoe Covid Symptom study, people who have contracted the Delta Variant experience symptoms that feel "more like a bad cold."
He says, "People might think they've just got some sort of seasonal cold and they still go out to parties and they might spread it around to six other people."
"We think this is fuelling a lot of the problem."
"The message here is that if you are young, you are going to get milder symptoms anyway."
"It might just feel like a bad cold or some funny 'off' feeling - but do stay at home and do get a test," he adds.
As per the study, headaches, a sore throat and a runny nose are the most common symptoms associated with the Delta variant, which is currently 40 percent more transmissible than the Alpha variant first detected in Kent, and appears to be driving the risk of hospitalisation in COVID patients than before.
The new Delta plus variant or AY.1 variant is characterised by the acquisition of K417N mutation.
In a twitter thread, Vinod Scaria, clinician and scientist at Delhi’s CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (IGIB), said, "The mutation is in the spike protein of SARS-COV-2, which helps the virus enter and infect the human cells."
Scientist Bani Jolly, who specialises in genomic sequencing, tweeted, "A small number of sequences of Delta (B.1.617.2) having spike mutation K417N can be found on GISAID. As of today, these sequences have been identified in genomes from 10 countries."
"The sequences have recently been designated as lineage AY.1 (B.1.617.2.1), a sublineage of Delta, due to concerns about K417N being one of the mutations found in the Beta variant (B.1.351)," She added.
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