New delta variant is leading to more cases, hospitalizations, and deaths
Just when many people thought that they were getting back to some sense of normalcy in America, a new and more severe strain of coronavirus has hit the scene.
At a Senate hearing this past Tuesday, July 20, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) testified that this new delta variant has caused there to be a significant increase in COVID-19 cases and is estimated to have made up 83% of all new COVID-19 cases in the country.
Dr. Walensky also testified that nearly 2/3 of the counties in the United States have had less than 40% of their residents vaccinated, which has led to the “rapid spread” of the Delta variant.
“The best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 variants is to prevent the spread of disease, and vaccination is the most powerful tool we have,” Dr. Walensky stated during her U.S. Senate hearing testimony.
On July 3, the CDC released data that revealed the Delta variant had accounted for nearly 1/2 of U.S. COVID cases and they have since indicated that there is a major surge in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. According to Dr. Walensky, COVID-19 related deaths have risen by roughly 48% over the past week and the U.S. now averages 239 COVID-related deaths per day.
Dr. Walensky strongly asserted that these new cases caused by the Delta variant could have been prevented if more individuals had received one of the vaccinations on the market.
According to a recent study done by the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, their data revealed that the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines were more than 96% effective in protecting against the COVID-19 virus and that among the 4,300 COVID-19 patients that were admitted to Cleveland Clinic hospitals between January 1 to April 13, approximately 99.75% were not fully vaccinated.
“The delta variant is extremely contagious,” said Dr. Joseph Varon, who has been on the frontline battling COVID-19 since it broke out here in Texas. “Unfortunately, most people that we are seeing come in with these new COVID cases have not been vaccinated. This is a huge concern. If you have not gotten your vaccine, you need to get it!”
Dr. Varon states that this new delta variant is not as deadly as the other strain but is extremely contagious and just as deadly as the first.
“There are two types of people in this world right now,” Dr. Varon continued. “There are those who have COVID and those who are going to get COVID. You need to be prepared and go ahead and get your vaccine.”
According to the CDC COVID Data Tracker, here in Texas, the rate at which COVID-19 cases are rising is concerning, in that COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU beds have doubled since the beginning of July. When you couple this disturbing trend with the fact that people are not getting vaccinated at the same rate as they had been initially, there is reason to be alarmed.
Here in Texas, vaccination numbers are not where they should be, in that roughly 43% of the residents in the state have been fully vaccinated. That leaves Texas running roughly 5% behind the national average and quite a few Texas residents still not fully vaccinated.
“The delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is nothing to play with,” said Dr. Joseph Gathe, another infectious disease doctor who has been trying to control the spread of COVID-19 here in Texas. “It is 60% more contagious than the previous strains and it grows quicker in an individual than the other variant. With the old variant, one person would infect about 2 to 3 people, but with this new variant, one person can infect 8 people.”
Dr. Gathe insists on people getting vaccinated as soon as possible and not avoiding it.
“All unvaccinated people need to get vaccinated ASAP. No question,” Dr. Varon continued. “If you get exposed to someone with the virus, you have a very good chance of getting it because of its contagious rate. Even if you are vaccinated there are still a number of people that we are seeing get infected with this new delta variant, especially a lot of young people. You need to take this virus seriously, whether you have been vaccinated or not.”
Dr. Gathe says that there are some people who are asymptomatic and are spreading the virus, so he is encouraging everyone to continue wearing their mask, especially if they are around a lot of people and whether they have been vaccinated or not.
There are probably still roughly 100 million Americans who have yet to be vaccinated or who are still battling the aftereffects of COVID-19. This new delta variant—a more contagious form of COVID-19—is among us now and should be taken more seriously so that this country does not find itself in the condition it was in last year—or worse.