DOCTORS who are treating patients with Covid-19 in India have identified new symptoms including gangrene and hearing loss.
The mutant coronavirus variant that is driving India’s second wave is believed to be the most infectious variant to emerge so far.
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Hearing loss and gangrene have been linked to the Indian variantCredit: Rex
Medics believe severe gastric upsets, hearing impairment and blood clots that lead to gangrene have been linked to the deadly delta variant.
Abdul Ghafer, an infectious disease physician at Chennai’s Apollo Hospital, said the virus has become more “unpredictable” as new variants emerge.
“Last year, we thought we had learned about our new enemy, but it changed,” Dr Ghafur told Bloomberg.
“This virus has become so, so unpredictable.”
He added that he is seeing more patients with diarrhoea compared to the first wave of the pandemic.
A cardiologist based in Mumbai recalled how some patients had such severe blood clots that they led to gangrene.
“I saw three-to-four cases the whole of last year, and now it’s one patient a week,” Dr Manudhane said.
Meanwhile, India is battling a plague of black fungus infections linked to the mutant coronavirus variant.
Doctors have sounded the alarm after tens of thousands of cases of the flesh-eating disease mucormycosis hit hospitals that are already overwhelmed by Covid patients.
A specialist doctor examines a black fungus patient in India
India declared it an epidemic in May when at least 11,000 patients had developed mucormycosis after recovering from Covid.
Now the figure is estimated at more than 28,000, with hundreds of deaths.
It comes as more surge testing is rolled out in areas in England after new cases of the Indian variant were discovered.
May 15: Where the Delta (Indian) variant had become dominant
May 29: Where the Delta (Indian) variant is now dominant
Yesterday residents in Calderdale in West Yorkshire will be offered PCR tests whether they are showing symptoms or not.
While surge testing is rolled out, enhanced contact tracing will also be deployed.
Cases who have been identified as having the Indian strain have been told to self isolate and their contacts have been identified.
New data revealed that the variant has now spread to all parts of the country.
Where are the hotspots?
Hotspots by case number
How many cases of the Indian variant were detected per week in the two weeks to May 29:
Blackburn with Darwen: 406
Hotspots by dominance
Areas where the Delta variant made up more than 90 per cent of cases in the two weeks to May 29:
Blackburn with Darwen
Tonbridge and Malling
Reigate and Banstead
Nuneaton and Bedworth
In just two weeks, the strain went from a proportion of 38 per cent to 75 per cent, making it dominant in England.
The data from the Welcome Sanger Institute shows how fast the variant has managed to grip the UK, having only been detected for the first time on April 10.
Experts have said it is now evident the UK is at the start of a third wave and things would only escalate if June 12 went ahead.
But rising cases is yet to be mirrored by increasing hospital cases, however, with the latest data showing patient numbers have climbed slightly.
Covid cases have almost doubled in a week with 6,048 people testing positive in the last 24 hours.
The UK last saw a similar rise on December 22, when cases almost doubled to 36,000 in seven days.
Today’s government figures showed 13 more people have died from the virus, bringing the total death toll to 127,584.