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Variants of COVID and Symptoms

3 September 2021

Before anything else, let’s begin first on when and where COVID 19 started.


This global severe illness all started on 31st of December 2019 when the World Health Organization or WHO learned about the pneumonia cases in Wuhan City, China, which had been linked then to an unidentified source. A new coronavirus was discovered by Chinese officials on January 7, 2020, which was temporarily dubbed as "2019-nCoV" and now famously known as the novel COVID-19 virus.


WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus issued a declaration on January 30, 2020, that the new coronavirus epidemic constituted a global public health emergency of international concern (or PHEIC). This outbreak was then categorized as a pandemic on March 11, 2020.


COVID-19 according to World Health Organization

According to the early research of WHO, SARS-CoV-2 virus causes the infectious illness named Coronavirus disease or COVID 19. For the majority of individuals who are infected, the disease will be mild to moderate and they will recover without needing medical treatment. Despite this, some people may have severe illness and will need medical care. WHO also added that the incidence of severe sickness is increased among those older individuals and those with preexisting medical problems, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, or cancer.


They also warned that anybody can get COVID-19 illness and become severely ill or can result to death, regardless of their age.


The main symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, shortness of breath, trouble breathing, coughing, body aches, fatigue, chills and sometimes with shaking, sore throat, headache, nausea, loss of smell or taste, diarrhea, and loss of smell or taste.


COVID 19 Variants and its severe disease

Coronavirus variants

Coronavirus variants

News media outlets began reporting the emergence of a new variants, which is responsible for causing COVID 19 in December 2020. Since then, other variants have been discovered and are being investigated.


Based on studies, these infectious diseases have mutations, and these mutations cause different types of breakthrough infections. It is claimed that RNA viruses, such as the coronavirus, are naturally inclined to alter and develop gradually due to different geographic locations that will likely lead to genetically different variations.


There are currently 5 covid 19 variants around the world.


Delta Variant (B.1.617.2) from India

The early occurrence of this covid 19 variant was found in India in October of 2020. COVID 19 has been superseded by this variant. The new virus variety is about twice as infectious than other versions, and has the potential to cause more severe illness. Experts also say that a highest danger of transmission is possible among individuals who have not yet been immunized. However, those who have been vaccinated and develop new illnesses as well as those who have symptoms can still transmit the virus to others. It is also possible that certain monoclonal antibody therapies and antibodies from COVID 19 vaccine may be rendered as less effective with this type of variant.


Alpha Variant (B.1.1.7) from the UK

This variant was first discovered in the UK in September 2020. With approximately a 50% boost in transmission, this COVID-19 variation is spreading faster than prior circulating versions. There is also a heightened chance of hospitalization and mortality. Though the Alpha strain is statistically shown to be more lethal, this variation is still less common than the Delta variant.


Beta Variant(B.1.351) from South Africa

It is not expected to be any more dangerous than the original strain but it is anticipated to spread faster than the first strain. The percentage of those that get this variety has almost doubled, with around 50% increase in transmission. COVID-19 infections, vaccines, and certain monoclonal antibody medicines may potentially decrease their efficacy due to this variant.


Gamma Variant (P.1) from Brazil

It is speculated that the Gamma strain is not more dangerous, but it is much more infectious than the Covid-19 strain. In this case, the monoclonal antibody medications and the antibodies generated by a previous COVID-19 infection or a COVID-19 vaccine becomes less effective.


Lambda Variant (C.37) from Peru

This newest coronavirus variant was discovered in Peru in December 2020. This was named as a variant of interest by WHO and it is said that the current variation is more contagious than the spike proteins from the original virus. It may be too early to make such a statement, since experts still have just limited knowledge on the Lambda variant but it is said that this serious illness is highly infectious and can have some risk factors to human society since it shows vaccine resistance. Therefore, booster dose are recommended in order to be protected from this strain.


Delta Variant in the Philippines

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), on August 31, the highly transmissible Delta variant is now the most prevalent coronavirus infection in the Philippines. The wide spread of this new variant first reached its community transmission level in Metro Manila and CALABARZON before it spread out across the country.


Since community transmission of the more virulent Delta version became more common, a new wave of COVID-19 infections has emerged, although progress has been made in bringing the new cases under 20,000 in the previous five days, according to the latest information provided by the country's disease control unit.


How to prevent the spread of this severe illness?

In order to control the widespread of the virus, it is essential to know first how a person can get infected by it. Small liquid particles of the virus may be breathed in when an infected person coughs, sneezes, speaks, sings, or breathes. These particles include both the bigger respiratory droplets and tiny aerosols.


If COVID-19 is present in your neighborhood, take some basic measures to remain safe, including physical distancing, wearing a mask, maintaining well-ventilated rooms, avoiding contact with others, and using your elbow to cough into.


DOH advised people to always avoid the 3 C’s: Crowded places, Close-contact settings, and confined and enclosed spaces. According to them the risk is higher in places where these factors are overlap. So, even if the restrictions are already lifted in some places of the country, people are still advised to consider where they are going and to stay safe by avoiding the 3 C’s.


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