Report: Vaccinated People Can Spread Delta Variant Of Covid-19
With Mumbai reporting its first death from the Delta Plus variant of the coronavirus, researchers have expressed their concern about breakthrough infections spreading the virus to others. The deceased 63-year-old woman from Mumbai was fully vaccinated and had no travel history.
As per the recent report coming from the US and the UK, it is being suggested that suggest that the Delta variant, which caused the havoc by leading to the second wave of Covid-19 in India is more likely to spread through vaccinated people than other variants. According to the findings, the vaccinated people if infected with the Delta variant of SARS CoV-2 carry a capacity to spread it as they have as much a viral load as unvaccinated people.
After the cases of the Delta variant increased recently, researchers were prompted to analyze the situation. For this, they went on to study PCR tests, which help in detecting the virus’ genetic material of virus through amplification of DNA, and threshold cycle (Ct) data.
A study published in medRxiv preprint states that “individuals had similar viral loads in nasal swabs, irrespective of vaccine status, during a time of high and increasing prevalence of the Delta variant”. It still needs to be reviewed by peer researchers and institutes.
Now, these new reports stress the importance of protective measures, including the wearing of masks indoors to reduce transmission, even among the vaccinated batch of individuals.
How was the study conducted?
The study was led by Kasen K Riemersma of the University of Wisconsin. For this, researchers compared Ct values of 719 participants between June 29 and July 31. Out of these 719 samples, 311 were vaccinated people who tested positive for SAR-CoV-2. Most of them showed Ct values of less than 25, which is indicative of the presence of the virus in the body. When researchers cultured around 55 samples from vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, with Ct values less than 25, it was found that SARS CoV-2 was present in all of them.
It was then concluded that the vaccinated people infected with the Delta variant may transmit SARS-CoV-2 to others.
The paper quoted, “Vaccinated individuals should continue to wear face coverings in indoor and congregate settings, while also being tested for SARS-CoV-2 if they are exposed or experience COVID-like symptoms.”
Earlier also, a study suggested potential in fully vaccinated individuals to transmit SARS-CoV-2 to others. A report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reflected that nearly 3/4 of 469 new Covid-19 cases in Massachusetts were those who were vaccinated with both doses. The CDC updated its Covid-19 protocols and guidance in which it recommending people in areas of high transmission to wear masks indoors also. However, scientists have assured that vaccines are important as they are highly effective in reducing the severity of Covid-19 symptoms, and can prevent hospitalizations and deaths.
What is the Delta variant?
Delta variant has been tagged as the most contagious variant of coronavirus so far. But it is still not clear if it makes people sicker. The spread and transmission of this variant are easier and faster because its mutations make it better at latching on to cells in our bodies. The Delta variant was first detected in India. It dominated the country soon and also got spread to other major countries like the US.
Most of the mutations in viruses aren’t worrying. But the concern arises when mutations produce a variant that is highly contagious, and causes more severe illness or dodges the protection that vaccines provide.