8/9/21—With the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., and more specifically the Delta variant, you may be wondering what this rise in numbers can mean for you. AlertTrace is here to help, with updated information and research on this ongoing situation. There are a number of factors to consider, but arming yourself with knowledge about the current situation can help.
Although Delta is not the only variant circulating, there are others such as Eta and Kappa, Delta has caused grave concern for a few reasons. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Delta variant is easily spread, being “more transmissible than Ebola or smallpox, and as contagious as the chickenpox.” Its ability to span faster means that it can multiply quickly in the body as well, causing a more aggressive onslaught of symptoms.
Another major concern is that vaccinated people can contract the Delta variant and spread it to others. Those vaccinated and infected by the Delta variant carry just as much of it in their bodies as those who are unvaccinated, according to CDC Director Rochelle P. Walensky. In fact the Delta variant is more than two times as transmissible as original COVID strains, and now accounts for 90% of new coronavirus infections across the United States.
How this new variant affects you depends largely on your vaccination status. The CDC found that infection with the Delta variant is more likely to lead to severe illness and hospitalization among unvaccinated individuals. While research is still being conducted, vaccinated individuals are found to present less severe symptoms, in many instances being asymptomatic carriers. “This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” said Walensky. “We are seeing outbreaks of cases in parts of the country that have low vaccination coverage, because unvaccinated people are at risk.”
Studies are showing that a majority of recent hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19, and more specifically the Delta strain, are being seen in unvaccinated individuals. A recent study from the Washington State Department of Health found that between February and June 2021, at least 94% of COVID-19 cases, deaths, and hospitalizations in individuals 12 years or older from Washington state occurred in individuals who were not fully vaccinated, with many other states reporting similar findings.
At a time where cases are breaking records and spreading at rapid rates, protection and prevention is key. The first step you can take in mitigating the spread is vaccination. “We know that the vaccines are incredibly effective at preventing severe disease and death,” said Dr. Vismita Gupta-Smith, head of strategy, planning and communications at the World Health Organization (WHO). Beyond vaccination, the CDC recommends masking when out in public, even for those who are vaccinated. While outdoor transmission is low, in large crowds especially it is possible, wearing a face mask while out is your best defense. Other recommended measures are social distancing, avoiding any large crowds or gatherings, practicing proper hand washing hygiene and contact tracing, which the CDC has advised can help prevent large surges in areas.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, AlertTrace has been at the front of developing the safest, most reliable contact tracing methods, while protecting user privacy. For more information on how we can help, contact us today, and stay safe.