Know the Differences in COVID-19 Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Lambda and Kappa variants

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Know the Differences in COVID-19 Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Lambda and Kappa variants
Know the Differences in COVID-19 Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Lambda and Kappa variants
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Since the end of 2020, the Corona virus has mutated into various new types or variants, namely Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Lambda, and Kappa. The new variant of the Corona virus has emerged and spread throughout the world, including Indonesia. So that you are not confused and more alert, let's know the difference

So far, several experts and he alth institutions around the world, including WHO, have found mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The new variant or type of Corona virus that causes COVID-19 is named the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Lambda, and Kappa variants.

Get to know the difference between the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Lambda and Kappa variants of COVID-19 - Alodokter

Basically, all viruses, including the Corona virus or SARS-CoV-2, can indeed change and mutate over time. This is a form of defense from the virus so that it can continue to reproduce.

Unfortunately, some of these changes can affect the rate of transmission or spread of the virus and the severity of the disease. It is also feared that the mutation of the Corona virus could affect the effectiveness of the available COVID-19 vaccine.

Covid-19 Differences Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Lambda and Kappa Variants

A variant of a virus has one or more mutations that make it different from other variants. According to WHO, there are several variants of the new Corona virus which are included in the variants of concern, namely:

1. Variant Alpha

  • Variant code: B. 1.1.7
  • First case found: UK, September 2020
  • The rate of transmission of the virus: 43–90% more easily transmitted than the previous Corona virus
  • Severity of infection: more potential to cause severe symptoms and an increased risk of hospitalization from the early Corona virus

COVID-19 Alpha variant is known to spread more quickly because it is better able to penetrate the human immune system. In fact, since April 2021 this variant has become one of the dominant variants of the Corona virus in the United States and Britain.

Case reports so far show that COVID-19 patients infected with the Alpha variant Corona virus can experience more severe symptoms. However, in people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine, the symptoms of this variant of Corona virus infection are generally milder.

2. Beta Variant

  • Variant code: B. 1.351
  • First case found: South Africa, May 2020
  • The rate of transmission of the virus: unknown
  • Severity of infection: more risk of causing severe COVID-19 symptoms

COVID-19 Beta variant is also known to be more easily transmitted between humans. Symptoms of this variant of Corona virus infection are generally similar to the symptoms of COVID-19 in general, but the Beta variant of COVID-19 is known to be more resistant to several types of treatment.

However, recent studies have shown that symptoms of the Beta variant of COVID-19 tend to be milder in people who have received COVID-19 vaccines, such as Sinovac, Pfizer, and Moderna vaccines.

3. Gamma Variant

  • Variant code: P. 1
  • First case found: Brazil, November 2020
  • The rate of transmission of the virus: unknown
  • Severity of infection: likely to be resistant to COVID-19 treatment

This COVID-19 variant was first discovered in Brazil and Japan. Although the type of mutation is different from other variants, the Gamma variant Corona virus is known to cause symptoms similar to other variants, such as the Beta variant.

Until now, the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine against the Gamma variant is still unknown and continues to be researched.

4. Delta Variant

  • Variant code: B.1.617.2
  • First case found: India, October 2020
  • Virus transmission rate: 30–100% more contagious than Alpha variant
  • Severity of infection: the potential increased risk of requiring hospitalization is almost double that of variant Alpha

The Delta variant of the Corona virus is the most contagious and spreads quickly. Since the initial discovery of cases until June 2021, infection with the Delta variant has spread to 74 countries and has even become the dominant variant in India and the UK.

Delta variant Corona virus infection is known to be more common in young adults. In the UK, research has found that children and adults under the age of 50 are almost three times more likely to be infected with this variant.

Until now, the reason why the Delta variant Corona virus spreads so quickly and is more dangerous is still unknown. However, several studies show that there are two possible reasons, namely the Delta variant of the Corona virus which reproduces faster and is easier to enter and is stronger against human cells.

However, the good news is that research so far shows that COVID-19 vaccines, such as the Astrazenca vaccine and the Pfizer vaccine, are rated to provide up to 60–79% protection against the Delta variant with a full dose of 2 doses.

5. Lambda Variant

  • Variant code: C. 37
  • First case found: Peru, December 2020
  • The rate of transmission of the virus: unknown
  • Severity of infection: unknown

Coronavirus Lambda variant was first discovered in Peru and several other countries in Latin America and has now spread to Europe and England.

Different from the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta variants, WHO states that this type of variant is a variant of interest or is still being studied further on the level of transmission and severity of infection.

Until now, there has not been sufficient evidence to confirm whether the Lambda variant of COVID-19 is more contagious or more severe in symptoms than the other variants. However, case reports so far show that the transmission rate is not much different from the first type of Corona virus.

In addition, several studies have also shown that the COVID-19 vaccine can provide protection against this variant of the Corona virus.

6. Kappa Variant

  • Variant code: 1.617.2
  • First case found: India, October 2020
  • The rate of transmission of the virus: unknown
  • Severity of infection: unknown

According to the national COVID-19 case report, the Kappa variant COVID-19 is known to have entered Indonesia in July 2021. The Kappa variant COVID-19 has a mutation pattern similar to the Delta variant, but the transmission rate and severity of infection are still unknown. known.

However, several studies so far suggest that the Kappa variant COVID-19 does not show a higher level of transmission or severity of infection than the early COVID-19 strain. The effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine and treatment against this new type of COVID-19 is also still being studied.

Just like the Lambda variant, the COVID-19 Kappa variant is also currently still categorized as a variant of interest by WHO.

Those are the differences in the Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Lambda and Kappa variants of COVID-19 that are important for you to understand. With the spread of the new variant, currently the symptoms of COVID-19 can vary in severity as well.

However, in general, the symptoms of COVID-19 that arise due to infection with the new variant of the Corona virus are not much different from the symptoms of COVID-19 in general, including:

  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle pain
  • Anosmia

In certain cases, COVID-19 variants Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta can also cause more severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest palpitations, reduced appetite, to decreased consciousness or coma.

Severe symptoms are generally more at risk of appearing in the elderly group or people with comorbidities, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or asthma.

Therefore, if you experience COVID-19 symptoms, don't take this condition lightly and immediately self-isolate, considering that the Alpha, Beta and Delta variants of COVID-19 have been found in Indonesia. If the symptoms do not improve, immediately consult a doctor. To diagnose COVID-19, the doctor may suggest a PCR test.

Whatever the type of variant, the best way to prevent transmission of the Corona virus is to be disciplined in implementing he alth protocols, namely diligently washing hands, wearing masks, always keeping a distance from other people, and avoiding crowds.

In addition, vaccination is also an effective option to provide protection against various variants of the new Corona virus, including Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Lambda, and Kappa.

If you still have questions regarding the differences in the new variant of COVID-19, you can ask the doctor directly via chat on the ALODOKTER application. Through this application, you can also make an appointment with a doctor at the hospital if you need an in-person examination.

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