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What is the Delta variant?

Viruses are ever-changing organisms that mutate all the time into variations, or variants. When this happens, infections can spread at an even faster rate.

This is what’s happening with the COVID-19 virus and its Delta variant. The Delta variant is now the main—and most dangerous—strain of the COVID-19 virus. It spreads so quickly—particularly in communities with low vaccination rates—that huge hospitalizations of critical patients now overwhelm hospitals.

Why is the Delta variant so dangerous?

Both the COVID-19 virus and its Delta variant are highly contagious, but the Delta variant is more alarming because scientists estimate that it’s twice as contagious as the original COVID-19 virus. When the Delta variant infects someone, more quantities of the virus are transmitted to the infected person, resulting in familiar COVID symptoms.

Who is at risk?

The people who are most exposed to infection from the Delta variant are those individuals who have not been vaccinated. When infected, unvaccinated people often suffer from COVID-19 symptoms that require them to be hospitalized. This is why we’ve witnessed an increase in COVID-19 patients in hospitals.

Are vaccinated people at risk?

While there have also been cases where fully vaccinated individuals have gotten infected, evidence also shows that these patients have relatively mild symptoms compared to those who have not been vaccinated. In many instances, they don’t have symptoms. But they can pass on the virus. That’s one of the dangers of the Delta variant.

 

Delta variant infections—and hospitalizations—will continue to rise and possibly overwhelm hospitals unless a few urgent but simple steps are taken.

Precautions are needed now

The good news? There are some easy steps you can take to ensure that you, your loved ones and your community remain safe from COVID-19 and the Delta variant.
 

For unvaccinated people:

  • Get vaccinated. Getting vaccinated is the surest, easiest and best way to protect yourself from infection. A vaccination also greatly reduces the chance that you’ll be hospitalized or suffer severe symptoms in those instances of infection.
  • If you have any COVID symptoms, stay home.
  • Wear protective masks indoors, continue to wash your hands often, and maintain physical distance from others (at six feet apart) in public spaces.
  • Avoid large crowds, both indoors and outdoors.
     

For vaccinated people:

  • If you have any COVID symptoms, stay home.
  • Wear protective masks indoors, continue to wash your hands often, and maintain physical distance from others (at least six feet apart) in public spaces.
  • Avoid large crowds, both indoors and outdoors.