Delta variant of covid virus already in transmission

The State Center for Health Surveillance (Cevs) confirmed the occurrence of community transmission of the delta variant of the coronavirus in Rio Grande do Sul. The statement, this Saturday (24), highlights that, after the detection of the first two cases in the city of Gramado (RS) by the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), the increase in probable cases of contamination by this strain indicates that there is community circulation.

According to preliminary studies, the delta variant may be 50% to 100% more transmissible than other strains of the new coronavirus.

The concept of community or local transmission is defined when the contagion between people occurs in the same territory, with no travel history or it is not possible to define the origin of the transmission. In other words, it is not possible to identify from whom covid-19 was contracted.

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The director of the Cevs, Cynthia Molina Bastos, points out that “the vaccine protects against this variant, especially after the second dose in the case of immunizers that need booster, but vaccination does not prevent the person from being contaminated and continuing to transmit the virus. Therefore, it is necessary to maintain all protective precautions against covid-19 regardless of having taken the vaccine, especially those who have any risk factor for complications of the disease”.

The Health Surveillance reports that, so far, three residents of the state have been confirmed with the delta variant. The first two from Gramado, who are linked and contracted covid-19 in the city, and one in Nova Bassano, who contracted the disease while traveling to Rio de Janeiro.

In addition to them, RS records 11 other suspected cases: five with samples being analyzed at Fiocruz (plus one from Gramado, also a contact for the first confirmed case, two from Sapucaia do Sul, one from Esteio and one from Canoas), and six samples that should be sent to the laboratory in Rio de Janeiro on Monday (26/7), from residents of Alvorada, Passo Fundo, Esteio, São José dos Ausentes, one more from Sapucaia do Sul and one from Santana do Livramento.

The Cevs performs, by the State Central Laboratory (Lacen/RS) and by the Scientific and Technological Development Center (CDCT), preliminary tests to identify these suspected cases, including partial sequencing. Analyzes determine whether the sample is a likely variant of concern by identifying specific mutations that differ between virus types.

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When sent to Fiocruz, the samples undergo a complete genomic sequencing, which provides details of the mutations profile and accurately classifies the lineage of each sample.

the delta variant

Delta is one of the so-called “variants of concern” (VOC), as they are variations that bring about some change in the behavior of the virus. The most striking feature of the delta, already scientifically proven, is its greater transferability.

A situation of concern, as it can reverse the downward trend in contamination, hospitalizations and deaths that the state has registered in July, due to the advance of the first dose of vaccination.

On Friday (23), the European Centers for Disease Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the delta variant of the new coronavirus has become dominant across Europe. Based on current epidemiological trends, the delta will be “globally dominant and will continue to spread” in the coming months, “unless a new, more competitive virus emerges,” health officials said.

As for severity, there is still no evidence that it causes a more or less aggressive disease in relation to other strains.

Source: BdF Rio Grande do Sul

Edition: Marcelo Ferreira

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