Delta variant is very serious and surging!

Delta variant is very serious and surging!
-A variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, called the Delta variant is spreading rapidly across the United States and the world.
-This Delta variant also known as B.1.617.2, was first identified in India in December 2020, then discovered in the United States in March 2021.
-The Delta variant is more contagious than other SARS-CoV-2 virus strains. It can spread as easily as chickenpox. It comprised just 0.1 percent of cases in the U.S. in early April, 9.5 percent by early June and approximately 80 percent now. It doubles every 7 to 10 days.
-People who are infected with the Delta variant may get sicker. Delta may cause different symptoms. Symptoms of a common cold such as runny nose, sore throat and headache are more likely, while more traditional COVID-19 symptoms are fever, dry cough, shortness of breath, loss of sensations of taste and smell.
-Recent finding that fully vaccinated people could get breakthrough infections and spread the virus. They have similar viral loads as unvaccinated individuals and may be able to transmit the virus as easily as those who are unvaccinated. Hence we have the new mask guidance for vaccinated persons to wear a mask indoors in communities with substantial viral spread or when in the presence of people who are particularly vulnerable to infection such as immunocompromised individuals.
-Studies in highly vaccinated countries like Singapore have shown that 75 percent of new infections reportedly occur in people who are partially and fully vaccinated.
Now the good news!
-Vaccines continue to be highly effective against the Delta variant in preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines appear to be about 90% effective against the delta variant after two shots. The Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca vaccines seem to be about 60% effective.
- It is now more crucial than ever to embrace vaccination and prevention measures, including mask-wearing, as cases surge across the United States.
-Vaccines tend to have dwindling efficacy over time. With the fast spread of delta variant, rising incidence of breakthrough cases in vaccinated individuals, the need for a booster is more now than ever.
-We also need to change our thinking about this pandemic. We need to realize that it's all about personal protection by getting fully vaccinated and taking all necessary precautions. Herd immunity is not as relevant an issue as we see more and more evidence of breakthrough infections in vaccinated individuals. We have to be accepting of the fact that this virus will almost certain be with humanity for the foreseeable future.
Mahesh S. Ochaney, MD

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