Covid’s delta variant is on a whole new level of frightening

World

Covid’s delta variant is on a whole new level of frightening

Gangrene, hearing loss and severe gastric upsets are just some of the new symptoms Indian doctors are seeing

Bhuma Shrivastava

The coronavirus variant driving India’s devastating Covid-19 second wave is the most infectious to emerge so far. Doctors now want to know if it’s also more severe.

Hearing impairment, severe gastric upsets and blood clots leading to gangrene, symptoms not typically seen in Covid patients, have been linked by doctors in India to the so-called delta variant. In England and Scotland, early evidence suggests the strain — which is also now dominant there — carries a higher risk of hospitalisation.

Delta, also known as B.1.617.2, has spread to more than 60 countries over the past six months and triggered travel curbs from Australia to the US. A spike in infections fuelled by the delta variant has forced the UK to reconsider its plans for reopening later this month, with a local report saying it may be pushed back by two weeks. Higher rates of transmission and a reduction in the effectiveness of vaccines have made understanding the strain’s effects especially critical...

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