BENGALURU: While there are reports on a document from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which outlines unpublished data that the Delta variant of the coronavirus may cause more severe illness than all other known versions of the virus, and spread as easily as chickenpox, Karnataka’s genome sequencing data shows presence of 1,089 samples that have tested positive for this variant.
“The state has crossed 1,000 samples testing positive for the Delta variant. In Karnataka, out of the genome samples tested, the Delta variant is the dominant one. We have to be extremely cautious of this highly infectious variant which is said to even escape vaccines,” said Dr Vishal Rao, Dean, Centre for Academic Research, HCG Hospitals, and member of the Genome Sequencing Committee.
The document from the CDC apparently outlines unpublished data showing that fully vaccinated people might spread the Delta variant.According to a senior doctor who requested anonymity, around 11,000 breakthrough infections have been reported in the state. Of these, the health department has analysed and found that 9,000 were vaccinated with one dose, and 2,000 with both doses. Of these, 90 patients have died.
“We investigated some of the possibilities of these breakthrough infections. Of 90 deaths, 70 were reported from Hassan and Mysuru districts. Interestingly, the numbers were reported mainly between April 4 and July 3, the time when Karnataka saw the deadly second wave,” the doctor said.He explained that there is a need to see how these vaccines are faring against the emerging variants. It is now evident that Delta is the dominant variant in breakthrough infections also.
“We are looking at the possibility of whether there was any new variant which escaped mutation, or if Delta itself, due to its vaccine-escape mechanism, is responsible for these breakthrough infections and even deaths,” he added. Meanwhile, health bulletin says that 1,089 Delta, 159 Kappa, 155 Alpha, 7 Beta and 3 Delta Plus cases have been found in Karnataka.