What You Need to Know about the Delta Variant

What You Need to Know about the Delta Variant

Although most of the United States has 'opened', and fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear their masks anymore in many spaces, the new Delta variant rises many concerns.

 

It was first identified in India in December, and the latest research suggests that this SARS-CoV-2 variant could be stronger than its original counterpart. The first Delta case was diagnosed in the United States in March, and today, this variant is responsible for 80% of the COVID cases. Keep reading to learn the main facts about this variant.

  1. Delta, or B.1.617.2 Variant, is Highly Contagious

Since the first identified case in December of 2020, this strain has spread very rapidly. It became the dominant strain of the Coronavirus in India and Great Britain, and it is currently the dominant strain in the United States. The CDC has defined Delta as a “variant of concern.” One of the main concerns is that this strain is spreading at a rate 50% faster than other strains, including the variant Alpha and the original strain. An article by Yale Medicine states that while the average person (unvaccinated and without taking safety measures) could infect 2.5 people in a given environment, the Delta variant would spread from 3.5 to 4 people in the same environment.

  1. Unvaccinated People Are at Great Risk

If you have not been vaccinated against COVID-19, you are at a high risk of getting infected from the Delta variant. Luckily, most Californians have been vaccinated, but other states have surprisingly low vaccination rates –including Alabama, Georgia, Missouri, and other Southern states. The best (and only real protection!) is vaccination.

  1. Testing is Still Crucial

Testing is the only way to know whether or not you are actually infected with SARS-CoV-2 or one of its variants. Even a percentage of vaccinated people have tested positive for the virus. This poses a significant risk of infection, especially if vaccinated people are co-mingling with unvaccinated individuals in public spaces. At PMH Laboratory, testing for COVID continues to be our #1 priority. Contact us to schedule COVID testing for your business, organization, or yourself.  

  1. Delta Can Cause Local Outbreaks

It is important to know the vaccination rate of where you live, your city, and your county. Since some areas have higher vaccination rates than others, this could mean that some neighborhoods could have high levels of COVID cases. This could overwhelm the local health care system, thus leading to more deaths.

  1. Delta Symptoms Could Look Tad Different

Although many of the symptoms caused by the original strain and the Delta strain are similar, there are unique dangers to the variant. Loss of smell and dry cough may be less common, while headaches, sore throat, runny nose, and fever are some of the most common characteristics present in patients infected with the Delta strain.

 

Although this new variant is scary, the United States still is in a good position to fight it off because of the generally high vaccination rates. However, it is more important than ever for individuals to take care of themselves and their families to ensure that they do not get sick from the Delta variant. There is a lot that we still do not know about this particular strain of the virus, but we do know that there are even subvariants of Delta, including Delta Plus.

We recommend routine COVID testing even if you are fully vaccinated. Keep reading our blog posts as well as the official information from the CDC, and stay safe.