The Delta Variant is rampant and has led health officials to implement new strategies around the globe. This strain of coronavirus is not only more transmissible, but also more aggressive than previous strains.
What Does it Mean for Me?
The CDC recommendation allowing vaccinated people to go mask-less indoors has been rescinded in hotspots where the Delta Variant cases are particularly high. It poses a particular threat in areas where vaccination rates remain low, including Missouri, Nevada and Arkansas. The Delta Variant is responsible for significantly more than half of current COVID cases in the United States. The strain was first identified in India but has spread rapidly around the world and is one of several “variants of concern” according to the CDC.
How Serious is This COVID Strain?
Malaysia has extended their stay-at-home orders, while Australian cities facing outbreaks of the variant have instituted lockdown orders. Hong Kong actually restricted incoming flights from Britain, as the Delta has hit the country pretty hard. In Italy, it was announced that requiring either proof of vaccination or a recent negative test will be required, in order to participate in myriad indoor activities.
What is the Likelihood of Contracting the Delta Variant?
The Delta Variant is considered to be twice as contagious as the original and some studies show that the likelihood of being hospitalized once the virus has been contracted is double, as well. The World Health Organization described this strain as “the fastest and fittest” [yet encountered].
Is This the Only Strain to be Concerned With?
While the Delta Variant is currently the most prominent COVID strain, the South American Variant, the Lambda Strain is also gaining traction. Unfortunately, until the majority of the population is vaccinated, the virus will likely continue to mutate and develop, particularly in low vaccination areas, as viruses are built to be in a continual state of adaptation in order to survive.
What are the Symptoms?
While the symptoms differ to an extent, there are many similarities. Less loss of smell and cough, more reports of runny nose, fever, sore throat, and headaches have been associated with the Delta Variant.
What Precautions Should I take?
The best way to protect yourself and your family/friends is to get vaccinated. While vaccination doesn’t mean complete protection, it does help to cut the virus off at the source and discourage mutations.
While the Delta Variant poses new problems for many people, getting vaccinated can certainly help slow down the aggressive nature of this mutation.