Scientists agree that all viruses evolve, changing as they replicate and spread from host to host. Covid-19 is no exception. Last December, a new, more contagious form of Covid-19 has mutated into existence, and it is known as the SARS-COV-2 virus strain, or the Covid Delta variant. This highly contagious strain of Covid-19 has spread across the globe in months. Currently, it is the predominant variant in the U.S., threatening human life, especially when it attacks the heart and blood vessels or when it enters the lungs, which can cause severe acute respiratory syndrome.
What’s Currently Happening with the Variant?
While there is currently no booster vaccine that is modified to target the Covid Delta variant, there is a concern because there have been cases of this Covid Delta Variant in previously vaccinated people. In addition to infecting vaccinated people, the Delta variant has proven to be more contagious than the original Covid-19 spreading two to three times faster and causing most of all new Covid-19 cases. Just as it is highly contagious from person to person, it also travels faster from cell to cell within the body, which means it can cause more severe illness within whoever it infects.
Like any virus, the Covid-19 virus must get inside a cell to replicate. Once the virus enters a cell, it uses its biochemical machinery to build new virus particles and spread to other cells and eventually other individuals. The part of the virus that allows it to enter a cell is called the spike protein. The Covid Delta variant has made changes to the amino acids in its spike protein that enable it to enter cells with much greater ease. This is why the virus travels through the body faster, replicates in greater quantities, and is ultimately much more contagious than the original Covid-19 strain it evolved from.
One of the most important things you need to know about the Covid Delta variant is that it can be avoided by using personal protective equipment (PPE). This equipment can protect you from infection by minimizing exposure from the droplets in the air or contaminated surfaces, and this could not only save your life but the lives of others you come in contact with. Some of the PPE used to protect people from the Covid virus include a face shield or goggles, medical gloves , an isolation gown, and an N95 or higher respirator. When wearing a respirator, it will filter out contaminated air from your immediate atmosphere making it clean and safe to inhale.
Hospitals, medical practices, dentist offices, and other healthcare providers should have the minimum PPE on hand to match their roles. It is important to know who the PPE suppliers are in your area while maintaining situational awareness of PPE and any shortages. As Covid-19 continues to mutate, the demand for PPE will remain high. You do not want to be left without the protection that can save you and your staff and reduce the spread of Covid-19 or the Delta variant throughout your community.