Indian doctors claim the new Covid variant is giving people gangrene and hearing loss that older strains of the virus don’t have.
The country was ravaged in the spring by the new variant, known as B1617.2 or ‘Delta’, with millions of people infected and hospitals taking to the streets.
Scientists say the variant is the most contagious yet discovered, and medics are now suggesting it may also be more dangerous.
In addition to typical Covid symptoms, some in India say they have seen an increase in patients coming in with deafness or gangrene caused by blood clots, Bloomberg reported:.
Health chiefs in the UK have already warned that there appears to be a greater risk of ending up in hospital with this variant than with the previously dominant Kent tribe.
But doctors in Britain have not reported gangrene or hearing loss, despite tens of thousands of cases of the variant.
This suggests that they may be extremely rare and have so far only been found in India because millions of people have become infected in a short period of time, or that they arose by chance in people who had Covid and were not caused by the variant at all.
Concerns about how quickly the variant is spreading and the possibility of it making vaccines less effective are mounting pressure on Boris Johnson to delay ending the lockdown on June 21, with scientific advisers urging him to push it back to give time. win to roll out jabs.
The B1617.2 ‘Delta’ variant is already believed to be the fastest-spreading strain of the virus since it was discovered in India earlier this year and medics now believe it could be more harmful (Pictured: A man is being tested for coronavirus nearby from Siliguri in Northern India)
A doctor said the arrival of new symptoms more than a year into the pandemic showed how unpredictable the virus was.
dr. Abdul Ghafur, an infectious disease expert at the Apollo Hospital in Chennai, told Bloomberg, “We need more scientific research to analyze whether these newer clinical presentations are related to B.1.617 or not.”
There were no clear signs that the Brazilian or South African variants, the first mutants to alarm scientists, caused other symptoms in other strains.
But it is reported that some doctors are now seeing unusual problems in people who have been diagnosed with the virus.
In addition to typical symptoms such as loss of appetite, stomach pain, diarrhea and joint pain, some also developed gangrene or hearing loss.
India is emerging from a devastating second wave of coronavirus with more than 350,000 people a day testing positive at its peak – and experts said many more went untested
The number of positive tests in India is now comparable to the UK, but the actual numbers are higher because there are so many more people – the population is over a billion
WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON COVID SYMPTOMS IN THE UK?
Below are data from Imperial College London’s REACT survey, which looked at adults aged 18 to 54 between June and December 2020.
This probably includes the most common symptoms of thousands of people infected with the original Wuhan strain of the virus and the Kent variant, with others in between, but not the Indian variant, which appeared in the UK in spring 2021.
Loss of smell
Loss of taste
persistent cough hoe
Gangrene is a condition in which living tissue dies and begins to rot while still on the body due to a lack of oxygen, usually caused by a blocked blood supply.
The coronavirus is known to cause clots in many people who become seriously ill from it, and blood clots can easily get stuck in small blood vessels and cut off blood supply, leading to gangrene if not treated properly.
“I saw three to four cases last year and now it’s one patient a week,” said Dr Ganesh Manudhane, a cardiologist in Mumbai.
He has reportedly treated eight patients in the past two months and two of them even had to be amputated – one of the fingers and the other of a foot.
He added: “We suspect it is because of the new virus variant.”
It is also quite common for viral infections to cause hearing loss in general.
Viruses are one of the leading causes of sudden hearing loss in people with normal hearing – measles, mumps, and certain types of herpes are among the possible causes, and permanent damage can be caused by viruses that attack the cochlea in the inner ear.
It’s not always clear exactly how this happens, but swelling caused by the immune response can damage the sensitive inner ear or the tiny hairs needed for hearing.
Many doctors and scientists have called for a longer list of symptoms that will allow people to get Covid tests in the UK.
Currently, only people with a cough, fever or loss of taste or smell are classified as Covid symptoms, although studies and NHS reports have shown that the true range of effects is much wider.
But the more symptoms there are, the more likely people are to think they have Covid but don’t and there will be more negative tests.
The three symptoms chosen are considered the best balance between picking up a large proportion of people who really do have Covid, while not also picking up huge numbers of people with other common illnesses.