More than a year after the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent “unprecedented times” originally shook the lives of individuals across the globe, the world was once again shocked as a new strain of the virus emerged.
Thus, the Delta Variant has perpetuated the already long cycle of sickness and concern, particularly as it spreads rapidly throughout unvaccinated populations.
And if you’re wondering what, exactly, you need to know about Delta, we have our top 5 facts on the matter to help keep you in the know:
- The Delta Variant is more contagious
One of the dangers of the new Delta variant is that, in short, it is simply easier to both catch and spread in comparison to the original Alpha strain of the COVID-19 virus.
“Data indicate that Delta is 40-60% more transmissible than Alpha and almost twice as transmissible as the original Wuhan strain of SARS-CoV-2,” the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) affirms.
- Unvaccinated individuals are at greater risk
“Too many people around the world are not yet vaccinated or have not yet received the full vaccination course,” according to the World Health Organization (WHO). “And so, people remain susceptible to infection and they may remain susceptible to severe disease and death.”
In other words, vaccination remains the best source of protection against COVID-19. And as the Delta Variant comes with a quicker onset of infection, unvaccinated individuals may be more at risk than others in terms of developing severe symptoms that necessitate hospital care.
- Breakthrough cases in the vaccinated may still be possible
While the COVID-19 vaccines are designed to mitigate transmission and reduce the severity of one’s symptoms, they can’t guarantee total immunity against the virus, particularly with a strain as contagious as Delta.
Such cases of infection in vaccinated individuals are referred to as “breakthrough cases.”
Luckily, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) explains that, “like other variants, the amount of virus produced by Delta breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated people also goes down faster than infections in unvaccinated people.”
- Hyperlocal outbreaks are increasingly likely
If a town has an overall low rate of vaccination but is surrounded by other areas of high vaccination, they may end up with a rapid community outbreak once the COVID-19 virus has entered the population.
Referred to as “hyperlocal outbreaks” by Yale Medicine, this would occur when the transmission of the virus emerges and remains primarily within the borders of that specific low-vaccination community.
- Masks remain an important tool for self-protection
It may be too soon to remove your face masks, especially if you’re unvaccinated. Last year, health officials recommended the implementation of face coverings to mitigate transmission. The same recommendations are being instituted again now for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.
“They’re also advising vaccinated people to avoid large gatherings and mask up indoors where the vaccination status of other people is unknown.” UC Davis Health says.
That all being said, if you have further questions regarding any of the above — or the COVID-19 virus in general — we recommend reaching out to scientific authorities on the matter such as the CDC or your local health department.
Otherwise, here at Vascular Solutions of North Carolina, we remain committed to the health and safety of both our staff and patients. To learn more about the COVID-19 precautions we currently have implemented within our center, or to schedule a vascular appointment with our team, please contact us today by calling 919-897-5999!