The Delta variant of the coronavirus infection could leave infected individuals with what scientists call long COVID as authorities from England decide to lift most of the region's lockdown restrictions by next Monday.
The proposal comes amid a rising number of COVID-19 infections brought by the Delta strain of the virus, which would hasten the spread of the virus and put the country in "uncharted territory." Ministers have been advised to expect that there would be about one to two million cases of coronavirus in the next few weeks.
Deadly Delta Variant
Despite the mass distribution of the coronavirus vaccines in the region focusing on the elderly and high-risk individuals, there may be hundreds of younger people that suffer long-term health problems, said researchers.
Scientists explain that long COVID, also known as a post-COVID syndrome, includes more than a dozen symptoms that can last for several months after testing positive for the virus. Medical experts noted that many patients suffered debilitating fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pains, sleeping difficulties, and memory and concentration problems, which is also known as "brain fog," The Guardian reported.
Another case that showed the threat of the Delta variant is when six fully vaccinated people got infected with the coronavirus after attending an outdoor wedding in Texas in April. The small outbreak was later confirmed to have been caused by the highly transmissible strain of the COVID-19 virus.
Researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine said in a preprint study that only one of the infected individuals died due to the disease. The victim was an individual who was inoculated with an Indian-made vaccine, Covaxin.
The event was held in a "large, open-air tent" before the Delta variant was known to be widely circulating in the United States. The wedding was attended by 92 people and was held near Houston. While guests were required to be vaccinated before being allowed at the event, the policy operated on the honor system.
Two people were believed to have brought the Delta variant to the event after they traveled from India. They initially tested negative before their flight but later developed symptoms after arriving in the U.S. All of the infected individuals from the wedding confirmed that they had close encounters with the two suspected individuals, Business Insider reported.
Continued Spread Worldwide
The Delta variant continues to become the most problematic strain of the COVID-19 virus worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) said that fully vaccinated people are still being infected by the deadly strain. Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, the chief scientist of WHO, said that the majority of the cases have shown to be asymptomatic infections.
But the continued surge of the pandemic has raised the hospitalization rate in some parts of the world, focused on areas where the vaccination rate is low and where the Delta variant is dominant.
American officials revealed that nearly all recent COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths were among people who have not yet been vaccinated against the infection. While rare, breakthrough infections occur among vaccinated residents. Authorities also noted that about 75% of coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths are among people over the age of 65 years, CNBC reported.