What is the Delta Plus variant? Symptoms of the Covid strain identified in India and latest on UK cases

Delta Plus has been identified in ten countries

Scientists in India have labelled a strain of coronavirus first identified in Europe as a “variant of concern”.

The so-called Delta Plus variant is more easily spread according to early studies from India and is related to the Delta variant an existing “variant of concern”.

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The new strain has already been identified in several other countries in both Asia and Europe.

India has classified the new strain as "a variant of concern" (Getty Images)
India has classified the new strain as "a variant of concern" (Getty Images)

Leading pathologists have however questioned India’s decision to label Delta Plus a “variant of concern”, insisting that its too early to say.

This is what you need to know about the Delta Plus variant.

What is the new variant?

The AY.1 variant, also known as the Delta Plus Variant has been labelled a Variant of Concern (VOC) by the Union Health Ministry in India.

According to the Union Health Ministry, the variant has higher transmissibility than the UK’s current dominant variant, Delta.

They claim that the variant binds more easily to receptors of lung cells and potentially reduces the effectiveness of monoclonal antibody response.

The variant was first found in India in April and has been detected in the states of Maharashtra, Kerala and Madhya Pradesh.

The variant has been detected in forty samples from the three states.

Has it been identified in the UK?

Yes.

The variant has been identified in nine countries outside of India, including the UK.

USA, UK, Portugal, Switzerland, Japan, Poland, Nepal, Russia and China have all identified the VOC.

The Government and Public Health England are monitoring the Delta Plus variant of coronavirus, Downing Street has said.

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said PHE had already put extra measures in place where the variant had been detected including “enhanced contact tracing, testing, and isolation”.

He said 41 cases of the variant had been identified in the UK.

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptoms of the Delta variant are a headache, sore throat and runny nose.

It is unclear if these are the most common symptoms of the Delta Plus variant.

India’s News 18 channel claimed that symptoms of Delta Plus patients included stomach ache and vomiting, loss of appetite, nausea, joint pains and hearing impairment.

The NHS continue to list cough, fever and loss of smell or taste as the chief symptoms of Covid-19.

Unusual symptoms relating to the Delta variant have previously been claimed by scientists in India.

Ganesh Manudhane, a Mumbai cardiologist, has said some patients develop severe small blood clots, which causes affected tissue to die and develop gangrene, Bloomberg reports.

Mr Manudhane explained that two of his patients had to have their fingers or a foot amputated due to health complications, and added that while he only saw three or four cases of gangrene last year, he is now seeing one patient every week.

If gangrene is left untreated for 24 hours, the chances of survival drop to 50 per cent, Medics warn.

The condition can affect any part of the body but typically starts in the toes, feet, fingers and hands, with signs including redness and swelling, and pain or sores in the affected area.

Hetal Marfatia, an ear, nose and throat surgeon at Mumbai’s King Edward Memorial Hospital, also explained how some patients in India have reported hearing loss, swelling around the neck and severe tonsillitis due to the Delta variant.