The COVID-19 Delta variant is on the rise in the United States
If you listen to the news, you have probably heard about COVID-19 variants that are circulating throughout the world. Currently, there are four that are classified as variants of concern in the United States1.
What is a Variant?
As viruses spread, their characteristics have the ability to change. When this occurs, they are called a variant. Changes in a virus can impact how it spreads or how sick people get if they are infected by it. Changes may also allow the virus to spread more easily or become resistant to treatments or vaccines2.
The Delta variant, which was first identified in India, is of particular concern due to its increased ability to spread, potential for increased severity of disease and potential for decreased immunity acquired from previous infection or vaccines1.
As of July 3, 2021, the estimated proportions of the Delta variant accounted for 51.7% of COVID cases in the United States. This figure is up 20% from only two weeks prior3. It is rapidly becoming the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the United States.
Many of us have grown tired of hearing about COVID-19. The reality is however, that it is still here and is something we should continue to take necessary precautions against. Recent studies of the Delta variant indicate that unvaccinated children and people under the age of 50 were more likely to become infected than with previous variants4. While hospitalization rates among adolescents remain lower than adults, a recent study found an increase in hospitalization rates in ages 12-175.
The best way to protect yourself from any variant of COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. While there is a potential for decreased immunity with the Delta variant, vaccines remain highly effective at preventing sever disease, hospitalization and death4.
Since COVID-19 vaccines were made available, rates of infection have decreased along with hospitalizations and deaths. The highest rates of incidences are among those who remain unvaccinated.
- CDC: SARS-CoV-2 Variant Classifications and Definitions, Updated July 6, 2021
- CDC: About Variants of the Virus that Causes COVID-19, Updated June 28, 2021
- CDC: COVID Data Tracker Variant Proportions
- Yale Medicine: 5 Things To Know About the Delta Variant
- CDC: Trending: Teens, Interpretive Summary for June 4, 2021