As the pandemic continues, public health officials are monitoring coronavirus variants that could be more contagious or deadly than the original. Viruses always adapt to survive, and variants emerge when a strain has one or more mutations that differ from others. Here are some things you need to know about the Delta variant.
What Is The Delta Variant?
According to the CDC, the Delta variant can spread more easily than the original strain. The strain has mutations on the spike protein that makes it easier for the variant to infect human cells. This makes the variant more contagious if people contract it and easier to spread to other people.
In fact, public health experts think that the average person who becomes infected with the Delta variant will pass it to three or four other people rather than the one or two people of the original strain. Studies are still ongoing into whether the Delta variant is resistant to vaccines or other treatments.
What Are The Symptoms Of The Delta Variant?
The symptoms of this variant are similar to the original strain, including a persistent cough, headache, fever, and sore throat.
Some patients have reported some different symptoms. The cough and loss of smell are less common, but a headache, sore throat, runny nose, and fever are more common.
What Does The Delta Variant Mean For The Vaccinated And Unvaccinated?
People who haven’t yet been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are the most at risk, which is not a surprise. In the U.S., in communities that have the lowest rates of uptake for the vaccine, there has been a jump in coronavirus cases. This seems to be happening primarily in the Southern and Midwest states, but there have also been outbreaks in some other parts of the U.S. as well.
Children and adults who are too young to have been offered a vaccine may be more susceptible to the Delta variant. Specifically, it has been found that unvaccinated adults and children are twice as susceptible to be infected with Delta.
For those who have been vaccinated, studies are still ongoing. Scientists are looking into how the Delta variant causes breakthrough cases of infections among fully vaccinated people. So far, these infections do seem to be rare.
In essence, it seems that two doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine are around 88% effective against diseases and 96% effective against being hospitalized with the Delta variant. Johnson & Johnson is also reporting good results against the Delta variant from its vaccine. The vaccines do seem to be offering protection, so make sure you visit your PCP for your vaccine if you haven’t already.
Makers of the various vaccines are already working on booster shots to see if they can offer a better level of protection against the Delta variant and any other variants that may emerge in the future.
If you have questions about the Delta variant or you need a COVID-19 vaccine, you have come to the right place! PCP For Life can provide you vaccines and answer any questions you may have. To schedule an appointment, call us today at 281-968-4096.