9/13/21—As the Delta variant now accounts for 99 percent1 of COVID-19 cases in the United States, new research confirms that this strain is more apt to cause serious illness.2 Published by The Lancet Infectious Diseases of England, research data shows the risk of hospitalization doubles for those infected with the Delta variant. The study covers coronavirus cases at Public Health England, where researchers compiled information on over 43,000 patients from late March to late May, prior to Delta becoming the dominant variant.
After sequencing these cases, 80% of patients were confirmed to have the Alpha variant, and only 20% with Delta. With adjustments made for risk factors such as underlying conditions and age, the study found that those who are unvaccinated or only partially vaccinated were 1.5 times more likely to need emergency care, and twice as likely to be hospitalized. Of the 43,000 cases studied, almost 75% were unvaccinated, less than 2 were fully vaccinated, and the remainder had only received one of their two-dose vaccination shots.2 The increased risk of hospitalization noted in this study backs up previous research conducted out of Scotland and published in June.3
The effects of Delta’s increased instances of severe illness and high transmissibility have not only taken an incredible toll on those infected, but on those treating patients with COVID as well. “Our analysis highlights that in the absence of vaccination, any Delta outbreaks will impose a greater burden on healthcare than an Alpha epidemic,” noted Anne Presanis, lead author of the study, and biostatistician at the University of Cambridge.
At Houston Methodist the Woodlands Hospital, doctors note the general overwhelm of their system, and systems across Houston.2 With patients lingering in hallways due to lack of treatment rooms available, the notable influx of Delta infections stresses healthcare workers and patients alike. University of Minnesota Infectious Disease Expert, Rebecca Wurtz, notes that the strain works much more quickly when compared to Alpha, striking firmly before any immune response is launched. “It still takes hours or days for the immune response to ramp up if you are vaccinated and become infected, and if the Delta variant is in there, it gets in and out faster,” said Wurtz, who also mentioned that masking and physical distancing are necessary to quell ongoing spread.
AlertTrace, and the organizations we support, realize the importance of maintaining preventative measures to combat the spread of COVID-19. We are proud to be at the forefront of proactive efforts, increasing health and safety in the workplace through our IoT wearables. AlertTrace enables organizations to ensure they are practicing social distancing guidelines, while seamlessly capturing accurate contact tracing data for rapid response in the event of a positive case within the workforce. With a quick-acting and more transmissible variant, digital contact tracing can streamline identification and notification of close contacts, stopping the chain of transmission.
Contact us today to learn more about maintaining the safety and productivity of your workforce amid present and emerging variants.
1 “CDC COVID Data Tracker.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#variant-proportions.
2 Sullivan, Kaitlin. “Delta Variant Doubles the Risk of HOSPITALIZATION, Study Confirms.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 27 Aug. 2021, www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/delta-variant-doubles-risk-hospitalization-study-confirms-n1277819.
Twohig, MPH, Katherine, and et al. “Hospital Admission and Emergency Care Attendance Risk for SARS-CoV-2 Delta (B.1.617.2) Compared with Alpha (B.1.1.7) Variants of Concern: a Cohort Study.” The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 27 Aug. 2021, www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(21)00475-8/fulltext.
3 Sheikh, Aziz, and et al. “SARS-CoV-2 Delta VOC in Scotland: Demographics, Risk of Hospital Admission, and Vaccine Effectiveness.” The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 26 June 2021, www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)01358-1/fulltext.
Chow, Denise. “Delta Variant and Viral Load: What Scientists Are Watching in the Covid Pandemic.” NBCNews.com, NBCUniversal News Group, 7 Aug. 2021, www.nbcnews.com/science/science-news/delta-variant-viral-load-scientists-are-watching-covid-pandemic-rcna1604.