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What You Need to Know About Delta COVID-19

Updated: Aug 9, 2021

The newest strain of COVID-19 is known as the Delta variant, or the B.1.617.2 strain. The Delta strain is one of the most advanced variants of the coronavirus, as it was mutated at least 3 times.

The Delta variant is meaner, leaner, and more confusing than any of the previous COVID-19 variants. With new symptoms, increased transmissibility, and younger cases, we should all be attentive to the variant.

Here's what you need to know:

It’s already in America:

The newest, more concerning COVID-19 variant, known as the Delta variant, was first recognized in India in October of 2020, where it is continuing to wreak havoc today. The Delta variant has already spread to over 60 countries throughout the past six months, from Australia to the United States. It is thought to be most widely spread in the UK, India, and Singapore. It currently makes up 60% of cases in the U.K. and over 95% of cases in Singapore.

According to Dr. Fauci, the Delta variant currently makes up only 6% of U.S. infections as of June 7th, 2021. However, this number is expected to rise in the upcoming days. Further, because the U.S. is only processing the genetic sequencing for a fraction of COVID-19 cases, it is very likely that this number is much higher.

The vaccines are still effective:

According to data from Britain’s public health agency, one dose of the Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine offers 33% protection from the Delta variant. Two doses of the Pfizer vaccine are 88% effective in preventing COVID-19 symptoms from the new strain. Two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are 60% effective against the Delta strain.

Because the Moderna vaccine is not widely available in the U.K. the exact effectiveness of this vaccine against the new variant is unknown. However, due to the similarities between the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, it can be expected that Moderna is close to 88% effective as well.

It has new symptoms:

One of the most surprising aspects of the new, Delta COVID-19 variant is the introduction of symptoms that differ from the cough, brain fog, and chest tightness that typically accompany “normal” COVID-19. Symptoms of the Delta variant include:

  • Hearing impairment

  • Severe gastric upsets

  • Blood clots

  • Gangrene

  • Joint pain

  • Loss of appetite

  • Nausea

These symptoms are unlike most of the COVID-19 variant symptoms we have experienced thus far. Delta’s symptoms are also more severe than previous mutations. In India and the UK, where Delta is the most common strand of COVID-19, hospitalizations are rising exponentially. Medical researchers and doctors speculate that the increase in hospitalization is due to the blood clots triggered by the Delta strand.

Doctors in India and the UK are seeing blood clots form in the chests of infected patients who have never had coagulation-related problems before. There are also instances of blood clots in blood vessels that supply the intestines, which could explain the symptoms of stomach pain, nausea, and other gastric upsets.

There have also been Delta COVID-19 patients that have developed small blood clots severe enough to cause affected tissue to die and develop gangrene. A cardiologist in Mumbai reported he had to amputate multiple fingers and feet of Delta COVID-19 patients over the last several months.

As described in an earlier blog, we described how many of the long-term, severe side effects of COVID-19 can be traced back to mitochondrial damage caused by the disease. Especially symptoms of chronic covid, like brain fog, headache, muscle and joint pain, and numbness, can all traced back to mitochondrial damage. The symptoms of Delta COVID-19 are surprising, but many of them can also be signs of mitochondrial dysfunction or damage.

  • Mitochondrial inhibition has been linked to improperly functioning blood coagulation- leading to blood clots. Mitochondria within blood platelets are responsible for energy metabolism and platelet activation and apoptosis, when mitochondria are damaged, platelet function will be impacted.

  • Nausea and severe gastric upsets are commonly associated with other mitochondrial disorders. This is because mitochondria are responsible for regulating communication between cells and tissues in the gastrointestinal tract.

  • Hearing loss is another common symptom of mitochondrial disorders, nearly half of mitochondrial disorder cases are affected by some form of hearing impairment. This is because a common pathway for hearing loss is thought to involve ATP deficiency.

With the obvious symptoms of mitochondrial damage, it would not be surprising if, in the next couple of months, we see Delta COVID-19 patients with long-term symptoms or chronic COVID-19. Even after an immune system has “beaten” COVID-19, symptoms of mitochondrial damage can last for months or even years.

It's more transmissible:

According to a study by an Indian government panel, the Delta COVID-19 variant is up to 60% more contagious than the previous Alpha variant. The alpha variant, also known as B.1.1.7 was previously known for being more transmissible than previous COVID-19 strands. Some researchers speculate the Delta variant could be up to 100% more transmissible than the “original” COVID-19 strand.

Researchers in the UK warned that if the Delta variant was 50% more transmissible than the alpha variant, it could lead to up to 10,000 hospitalizations per day. This is a shockingly high number, as, on June 7th, 2021, only 124 COVID-19 patients were admitted to the hospital across the entire United Kingdom.

It's affecting children at higher rates:

Another concerning aspect of the Delta variant is that children seem to be susceptible to falling ill to the virus. Doctors in India are reporting more household transmission with the Delta variant than with previous strands. This means more children are falling ill.

In the UK, there has been an increase in outbreaks and clusters involving students of primary and secondary schools (the equivalent of American elementary and middle schools) in the last several weeks. In one region, cases are growing fastest amongst children in school, higher now than at any other point throughout the pandemic. Throughout the UK, cases among children 7 to 11 years old are the highest of all age groups, and the number is still rapidly rising. More children are also be admitted to hospitals for their symptoms under the Delta COVID-19 variant.

Researchers are unsure why the Delta variant is affecting children more severely than other COVID-19 strains. One theory is that the vast majority of children have yet to be vaccinated, so they are falling ill at higher rates.

In the meantime, you should still be working to optimize your health in order to protect yourself from the Delta variant and future, potentially more dangerous strains.

The Johnson Center recommends a multi-faceted plan to obtain optimal health- encompassing biological and genomic testing, nutritional supplementation, and dietary and wellness plans. To learn more, click here.

If you have any more questions about your path to optimal health, email our office at or call 276-235-3205.

The Johnson Center for Health services patients in-person in our Blacksburg and Virginia Beach / Norfolk locations. We also offer telemedicine for residents of Virginia and North Carolina!


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