The country has been alerted to the threat of the Delta variant, which was first detected in India.
And as Filipinos understand this, the Delta plus variant was suddenly reported.
According to infectious disease specialist Dr. Rontgene Solante, in addition to the current mutation of the Delta variant, there have been more mutations, so there has been a “Delta plus.”
“This third type of mutation not only increase the transmissibility of the Delta variant but also has the potential to reduce some of the vaccines that we have, but we have to wait for the additional report on this third mutation,” said Solante.
So far, more than 80 countries have recorded Delta variant cases. At least 10 countries have Delta plus cases.
The Delta variant is the reason for the collapse of India’s health care system and is seen as a more prevalent variant today in some countries.
Solante explained that this is due to mutations that strengthen the attachment of the virus to the cells in our airways.
Why are Delta, Delta plus variant more contagious?
“When you have higher number of virus in airway cells, you are highly infectious. You expel the virus with one cough or even talking or speaking. You have more viruses that will be expelled either in the form of a droplet. So there will be more people who will be infected in just a short period of time of contact,” said Solante.
Because both variants may affect the effectiveness of the vaccine, the threat is undeniably serious.
And even though existing vaccines are still effective in preventing serious forms of the disease, there is a strong possibility that a booster shot will be needed.
The Department of Health (DOH) said the use of vaccines is based on ongoing studies. Aside from conducting studies on the use of different brands of vaccines, the agency said they are also looking forward to studying abroad.
The DOH also respects the freedom of the public to decide whether to get vaccinated or not but hopes that people will understand the importance of the vaccine.