New symptoms linked to Delta variant after Covid patients suffer gangrene and hearing loss

Medics in India are identifying new symptoms linked to the coronavirus Delta variant (Image: Getty Images)

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Doctors treating coronavirus patients in India have identified new symptoms which they believe could be linked to the Delta variant.

Medics think gangrene, hearing loss and severe gastric upsets could be caused by the Covid-19 strain first identified in India.

Abdul Ghafur, an infectious disease physician at the Apollo Hospital in Chennai, said the virus is becoming more "unpredictable" as new variants emerge.

He added he is seeing more patients with diarrhea now compared to the first wave of the pandemic.

Six leading doctors treating Covid patients in the country have noticed common symptoms such as stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, hearing loss and joint pain.

The number of Covid-19 cases in India has started to decrease
(Image: DIVYAKANT SOLANKI/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Ganesh Manudhane, a Mumbai cardiologist, said some patients develop severe small blood clots that led affected tissue to die and develop gangrene, Bloomberg reports.

He explained that two of his patients had to have their fingers or a foot amputated due to health complications.

The doctor said he only saw three or four cases experiencing the condition last year, but now he is seeing one patient every week.

People in India wearing protective face masks wait for public transport at a bus stop in Mumbai
(Image: DIVYAKANT SOLANKI/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Medics said if the gangrene is left untreated for 24 hours, the chances of survival drop to 50 per cent.

Gangrene is a serious condition where a loss of blood supply causes body tissue to die, according to the NHS website.

It can affect any part of the body but typically starts in the toes, feet, fingers and hands.

Health workers arrange oxygen concentrator machines at a newly inaugurated Covid-19 coronavirus centre in Chennai
(Image: AFP via Getty Images)

Common symptoms include redness and swelling, pain or sores in the affected area.

Hetal Marfatia, an ear, nose and throat surgeon at Mumbai’s King Edward Memorial Hospital, explained some patients in India are also reporting hearing loss, swelling around the neck and severe tonsillitis as a result of the Covid-19 Delta variant.

India has the world's second-largest number of coronavirus infections after the United States, with total cases at nearly 29 million, according to health ministry data.

The country has suffered 351,309 coronavirus-related deaths.

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In recent days the number of new infections is slowly decreasing as India reported 86,498 new cases overnight.

It is the lowest number in over two months and a sharp drop from a peak of around 400,000 a day in May.

But officials have cautioned that vaccinations must be accelerated to prevent new surges in infections.

Giridhara Babu, a member of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the country's main health research agency, told Reuters: "We need to vaccinate 7-8 million persons per day to meet the target of covering all the eligible persons before the end of December."

India has been inoculating its people with AstraZeneca shots produced at the Serum Institute of India, and Covaxin made by Indian firm Bharat Biotech.

It is set to commercially launch Russia's vaccine Sputnik V in mid-June.

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