The COVID variant that is largely believed to be responsible for India's devasting second wave is the most infectious. In fact, it is 50 per cent more contagious than the Alpha strain, which was previously known as the UK variant, a government has found, reported NDTV.
Now problems with hearing, gastric and blood clots leading to gangrene are being observed in COVID patients in this wave. And they have been attributed to the 'Delta' variant.
In Mumbai till June 2, nearly a dozen cases of intestinal clots and gangrene had been treated by physicians and surgeons, reported The Times of India.
Delta, also known as B.1.617.2, first emerged in India and has spread to over 60 countries, prompting several countries to close their borders to India. In fact, Australia had even threatened its citizens returning home from India with a jail term and steep fine.
"We need more scientific research to analyze if these newer clinical presentations are linked to B.1.617 or not," said Abdul Ghafur, an infectious disease physician at the Apollo Hospital in Chennai. He said that the virus has become unpredictable.
Six doctors treating patients across the country said that stomach pains, vomiting, nausea, loss of appetite, hearing loss and joint pain are among the ailments COVID patients are experiencing. A cardiologist in Mumbai has been observing patients develop micro thrombi, or small blood clots, so severe that they led affected tissue to die and develop gangrene. He said that he is baffled by the blood clots in patients.
Doctors are also reporting instances of clots formation in blood vessels that supply blood to intestines, causing patients to experience stomach pain. The surge in infections may have driven an increase in the frequency with which rare COVID complications are being observed.
As another doctor in Mumbai pointed out, everyone is showing different symptoms in the second wave. Some COVID patients are also seeking medical help for hearing loss, swelling around the neck, and severe tonsillitis, said Hetal Marfatia, an ear, nose and throat surgeon at Mumbai's King Edward Memorial Hospital.