In recent weeks, the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus has dominated major news headlines, necessitated tighter restrictions, and prompted sterner warnings from health officials and institutions across the globe.
With more than 4,000 active cases in Ghana driven mainly by the Delta variant of the virus, experts are urging caution as a first step toward protecting ourselves against the new variant. Here’s what you need to know.
Delta is more contagious than the other virus strains.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has called this version of the virus “the fastest and fittest” compared to other variants. It is believed that the Delta variant spreads 50% faster than Alpha, which was 50% more contagious than the original strain of SARS-CoV-2.
Ghana Health Service confirms this higher transmissibility rate which has led, in recent weeks, to a rise in hospitalization and ICU bed uptakes, and, tragically, deaths. Currently, the Delta variant has been reported in more than 90 countries and continues to spread.
Vaccination is the best protection against Delta.
Health experts say that the most important thing you can do to protect yourself from Delta is to get the full vaccination course. That means you must receive a two-dose jab of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine that the Government of Ghana seeks to procure at recommended intervals for those shots to take full effect.
Precaution is a priority.
The vaccine is not a license for negligence. Whether you are fully vaccinated or not, it is important to observe the following health protocols:
Given the dynamic nature of the variant, strict adherence to these protocols is advised to keep yourself safe. It is also important to keep up with the latest information.
Slightly varied symptoms
Early research confirms that the Delta variant has slightly different symptoms compared to the original virus. As a result, those affected may not experience the loss of taste and smell. Nonetheless, the new variant could cause persistent cough, sore throat, fever, breathing difficulties, body aches, congestion, and more. If you experience any of these symptoms, get tested as soon as possible.
There is more to learn
Often, the dynamic nature of viruses makes it difficult to make absolute claims about them or their impact. As a result, information about transmissibility and severity could change as virologists and epidemiologists continue to study the Delta variant. Until then, it is better to err on the side of caution. Stay safe. If you have any symptoms you are not sure of, kindly speak to a doctor as soon as possible. Or call the Nyaho Medical Centre COVID-19 hotline on 0209404046.
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