By Kaya 959 News
South Africa recorded 15 501 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday. The country now has a total of 2 090 909 confirmed cases with 183 243 active cases.
The third wave, which has already seen a spike in new cases, especially in Gauteng, has largely been driven by the Delta variant.
Experts believe that the strain is far more contagious so it is important to limit contact with others for as long as possible.
Children are also more susceptible to contracting the Delta variant.
“In light of the new information emerging about the Delta variant, which the World Health Organization has described as the most highly transmissible form of the SARS-CoV-2 virus identified to date, we need to work together to urgently reduce chances for the virus to spread to flatten the third wave,” said pharmacist Joy Steenkamp.
Steenkamp works for Medipost Pharmacy, South Africa’s largest national courier pharmacy.
Delta variant spreads easily
According to the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), the Delta variant first identified in India is now confirmed to be circulating in South Africa.
It is believed to be 97% more transmissible than the original strain of COVID-19, meaning it can spread much more easily between people.
Steenkamp said it is important to remember that even people who have already been vaccinated can get COVID-19 and pass it on to others – even though they may not experience symptoms and it appears they are much less likely to become as severely ill.
“It is therefore essential that we all continue to follow the recommended prevention measures, including self-isolating for 10 days if you have had contact with a person who has Covid-19 and avoiding any unnecessary interactions,” he said.
Delta variant symtoms
University of Cape Town Public Health Medicine Specialist, Professor Mary-Ann Davies, said headaches, a sore throat and a runny nose are symptoms of the new COVID-19 Delta variant.
She said these are different from symptoms experienced in SA so far.
Davies said while the symptoms are mild, they are far more transmissible.
She said the fever, loss of smell and loss of taste are less prominent with the Delta variant and people don’t immediately recognise it as Covid and isolate.
The Delta variant has spread to more than 80 countries.
Meanwhile, the lambda variant, which was originally identified in Peru, also has health officials around the world worried.
There are fears that mutations of the variant could be resistant to vaccines.