If you haven’t heard the news, the Delta variant is the latest COVID-19 strain to provoke new fears of a shutdown as infection cases rise around the country. Numerous mutations of COVID-19 are being tracked globally throughout the pandemic, but the Delta variant causes more infections and spreads more quickly than others.
So before you make new travel plans or any plans for the next six months, keep reading. Here’s everything you need to know about the Delta variant:
The Delta variant is highly contagious.
According to the CDC, the Delta variant is nearly twice as contagious as previous variants.
The Delta variant might cause more severe illness.
Data from two different studies in Canada and Scotland show unvaccinated people might react more severely to the Delta variant. The studies found that patients infected with the Delta variant were more likely to be hospitalized than patients infected with the earlier strains.
Unvaccinated people are more at risk.
The Delta variant is more transmissible among unvaccinated groups, so these individuals are more at risk of contracting the virus. In addition, as more older people get vaccinated, those who are younger and unvaccinated will be at higher risk of catching any strain of COVID-19.
People should wear masks to limit the spread of the Delta variant.
If you were thinking of ditching your masks, you might want to think again. You should wear masks indoors to protect others and yourself from the virus.
Vaccines are effective against the Delta variant.
The current vaccines authorized in the U.S. effectively prevent severe illness and death from the virus, including the Delta variant. However, the vaccine is not 100% effective, and breakthrough cases of the virus among vaccinated individuals can occur but are rare.
The decision to get the vaccine to protect yourself from the Delta variant is ultimately up to you, and the science is out there for you to review on your own to make the most educated choice. To learn more about the Delta variant and COVID-19, visit the CDC website.