Coronavirus

4:13 PM, Feb 27, 2020

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Delta variant '40 percent more transmissible' according to UK health minister

Posted at 6:19 PM, Jun 07, 2021

(WSYM) — The COVID-19 Delta variant that first originated in India is now the dominant strain in the United Kingdom. And Britain’s health minister says the strain is now estimated to be 40% more transmissible than the Alpha variant that was first detected in the UK.

There has been a rise in numbers. Over the last month, cases in Britain have recently doubled, from 2,000 a day to over 4,000 a day.

Now, these are not huge numbers. But let’s keep in mind that we’ve often seen this pandemic feed upon itself. Meaning that once the numbers start moving, whether going up or doing down, it tends to keep going in that direction, picking up speed and building upon itself.

So if the Delta variant is 40% more transmissible, then those numbers could continue to rise. Mostly because of two key reasons: one, Britain is lifting their restrictions and reopening back up and number two, roughly 40% have not received a vaccine shot.

Question: The Alpha variant that was first detected in the UK is the most dominant strain here in the US. Do you think what we’re seeing in U.K., where the Delta variant overtook the Alpha variant will happen here in the US as well?

Well first of all, when we’re talking about two-dose vaccines, the UK’s strategy was different from ours. They felt it was best to vaccinate as many people as possible with one shot only. And they delayed the second shot by up to 12 weeks.

Now that has worked for them, but unfortunately, studies are showing that getting only the first shot does not provide high enough protection against the Delta variant. So it’s possible that more people could get infected if they are not fully vaccinated. And the same goes for here in the US.

We have a lot of folks who have not been vaccinated or are not fully vaccinated. So they are more at risk of catching the virus. The good news is that if the Delta variant continues to spread both here in the US and in the UK, the death rate shouldn’t spike. Since many older folks in both countries have been fully vaccinated.

Now, that’s not to say that younger people are safe. Many do end up hospitalized. And a new study found that these people often leave the hospital in worse shape than before they were infected with the virus. So once again, if you’re not vaccinated, please consider getting a vaccine soon.