Over the last year, the COVID virus has developed into many different variants. What are the variants of the virus, and how do we protect against these infectious diseases?
What are the COVID variants?
The newest SARS COV-2 variants come from the virus constantly changing through mutation. These variants are the alpha variant, the beta variant, the gamma variant, and the delta variant. Each of these variants can be difficult to protect against, but knowing about these mutations can help us fight against them.What are the COVID variants that we need to watch out for? And how do we defend against them to protect our loved ones? Learn more in the following blog. #pasadenahealthcenter #covidvariants Click To Tweet
- Alpha Variant – B.1.1.7
- Beta Variant – B.1.351
- Gamma Variant – P.1
- Delta Variant – B.1.617.2
1) B.1.1.7 Alpha Variant
According to WebMD, his variant cropped up in late 2020. It was first noticed in southeastern England and has since been reported in other countries. This version of the variant is about 70% more transmissible than the original virus.
The good news is that the way this variant mutated is on the spike protein, which is exactly what the vaccine targets, so it is unlikely that this variant will make vaccines obsolete.
2) B.1.351 Beta Variant
The main thing this variant excels at is spreading more easily. It developed in South Africa and Nigeria. Similar to the alpha variant, the COVID-19 vaccine is effective against this variant. The Beta variant is similar to the Alpha variant in a lot of ways.
The main difference is that while the Alpha variant is treatable by all of the current COVID treatments available, the Beta variant is resistant against certain monoclonal antibody treatments.
3) P.1 Gamma Variant
This strand of the virus appeared in January 2021 and appears to be able to infect those who have had the virus before. It first appeared in people from Brazil who’d traveled from Japan. It is more contagious than earlier strands of the virus. Luckily, FDA-approved or authorized vaccines work against this variant.
4) B.1.617.2 Delta Variant
The Delta variant is probably the most well-known of the four variants. This variant is considered the variant of concern right now because of its unique properties. It started in India in October 2020. There was a surge in Mid-April 2021, and now the variant is present in 130 countries.
The Delta variant is highly contagious and is spreadable by fully vaccinated people as well as unvaccinated people. This can lead to the variant hopping from vaccinated populations to unvaccinated populations. These are called “hyperlocal outbreaks” and they can hit these unvaccinated places a lot harder because of how contagious this variant is. The danger of this is running out of space in hospitals to treat these patients. That is why it is important to get vaccinated because it reduces the symptoms patients suffer from the virus.
What to Expect
All of these variants can cause breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated people, but the best way to defend against all of these variants is to be vaccinated. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention advises the public to become vaccinated if they are able, as it is highly effective in developing herd immunity.
Something to note: we are still learning a lot about these different variants. As time goes on we will learn more about each of these variants.
Protect Yourself and Others
Each variant has its dangers, but they need to be protected against. We highly recommend getting vaccinated to protect yourself and others from the virus. It is the most effective way to protect your friends and family from contracting COVID.
Contact us for more information on getting vaccinated!