India is suffering from the second wave of COVID-19. The second wave of COVID, which has hit India is causing a wide surge of infections. With cases having crossed the 1-lakh mark over the recent days (April 04), experts are now worrying that not only will the second wave reimpose the need for restrictions, it could also be much worse than the first one.
The unconcerned behaviour and the rise of newer, scarier COVID varieties have added to the worries, doctors in the country are also reporting a change in the way the infection is causing symptoms.
People are admitted to hospitals with unusual signs, the latest medical findings from the state of Gujarat, which, too, is battling with a heavy COVID surge right now is proof of the many ways India’s second COVID wave is much different than the first one.
The newer, transformed COVID strains, including the Brazilian and the Kent variants are said to be quite stronger and producing the capability to cause more symptoms and attack the vital organs more deeply. According to current research which has appeared from hospitals across India, people testing positive for the virus are now also reporting different viral symptoms, unlike the classic signs and symptoms of COVID-19.
In a study, doctors in Gujarat says, patients are now showing unusual symptoms of the virus, including abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and even developing a cold. The lack of typical symptoms, such as that of a fever and a cough is now making doctors caution patients to get tested even if they do not show classic signs.
Other symptoms frequently seen in COVID+ patients include joint pain, myalgia, gastrointestinal complications, weakness and loss of appetite.
The interesting fact s that, unusual signs and discovery of obscure symptoms apart from a COVID-fever or cough were also highlighted during the second, third wave of infections that hit the UK and other European countries in the current months.
Most COVID cases are mild or may don’t even show any symptoms. But, with the virus changing its course and starting a much more harmful attack on the body, the severity of infections is also being witnessed right now. The severity and difficulties, which pose the highest risk for those suffering from comorbidities can also increase the need for hospitalizations, and push the healthcare system to a near state of breakdown if the situation isn’t controlled in time.
The evidence is unanticipated right now, a lot of experts feel that the COVID mutations or the scary double mutant virus traced in Maharashtra has the ability to attack the body in a different manner. The new strain, for example, poses high ability for catching infections and can easily spread to the lungs, respiratory passageways and cause pneumonia, which is a lethal COVID complication.
The number of gastrointestinal complaints has increased, more than ever. As the gastrointestinal symptoms were not obviously seen at first, doctors now assume that the virus strongly attaches itself to the high load of ACE2 entry receptors present in the digestive system and release a torrent of symptoms- from diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, nausea, pain and vomiting.
High contagiousness and infectiousness could also increase the likelihood of vital organs being attacked and cause symptoms. Thus, people are being advised to be super careful and look on for the earliest signs of infection to prevent problems later.
Viral load refers to the combination of virus (SARS-COV-2) present in a person’s bloodstream, which is picked on by the diagnostic tests. But there can be a lot of reasons behind a higher viral load, a high number is usually seen as a sign of the virus progressing.
In case of COVID-19, a higher viral load could also affect the frequency rate of the contagion. As being observed right now, people testing positive for the virus are also showcasing a high viral load, which could further mean that the rate of infection, and perhaps reinfection could be higher too. Again, even though the findings are based on preliminary research right now and would be subject to further investigations, a lot of it is attributed to the scary UK and Brazilian strain.
Virus attacking healthier people too!
The virus is said to carry the most indications for elderlies, and those with weak immunity. But, with the tide turning for the worse and a general existing disregard to protective norms, a lot of younger people are also suffering from complications and landing up in the hospitals. Some are also falling prey to complications like bilateral pneumonia, which could turn nearly fatal for COVID patients.
Children are also suffering from the bad effects of the same. Problems like MIS-C (Multi systematic Inflammatory Syndrome) seen in rare pediatric COVID cases are now also being more evidently seen, flagging concerns.
There prevails some concern that the current set of vaccines administered in India (Covaxin, Covishield) may not be possibly effective against newer mutations, since the mutant virus may be able to surpass the antibodies easily and still spread infection. Even though it is a big emerging threat, nonetheless, doctors still suggest people get vaccinated as and when, since there’s strong clinical proof that vaccines may be able to tame down austerity, mortality and even long COVID problems. It could also potentially lower viral load and symptomatic risk, lowering the risk for secondary infections as well.
How to prevent?
As vaccines are on the rollout, it is but important to continue wearing well-fitted masks and to follow all public health measures. The new surge in the COVID-19 cases is a matter of great attention and it is but in our hands to restrain the spread of the virus. Wash your hands regularly and sanitize frequently touched surfaces.