(WSYM) — The Delta variant that was first identified in India now makes up roughly 58% of COVID-19 cases here in the United States. That’s according to the CDC.
The Delta variant was first detected in the US back in March. And by May, it represented just a small amount of our cases, about 3%.
However, it did not take long for this variant to spread farther and faster. In early June, the Delta variant accounted for 31.3% of cases. But shortly after that, between June 20th and July 3rd it was responsible for 57.6% of the new cases diagnosed. And it's now in all 50 states.
I have to admit I am getting concerned. Our case numbers had been very low. On June 13th we had just over 6,700 new cases that day. But yesterday, one month later, we had just over 41,000 new cases in one day.
Question: Preliminary data indicates it may increase the risk of hospitalization, what can you tell us about that?
Well, virus-related hospitalizations had been down, just like our caseloads. But there’s been a 9% increase since late June - which not surprisingly coincides with the rise of Delta variant cases.
Now unlike the early days of the pandemic, when older people were most at risk, it’s now the younger populations that are being hospitalized. Roughly 40% of new hospital admissions are adults between the ages of 18 to 49. And unfortunately, doctors are also seeing teenagers and young children admitted in recent weeks.
Now the vast majority of those getting hospitalized or dying from COVID are people who have not been vaccinated against this virus. And of all the COVID deaths that happened in June, 99% were not inoculated.
This is great news, it shows that our vaccines are working. But as I mentioned earlier, our numbers are on the rise.
In just one week, 31 states saw a 50% or higher increase in new cases than the week prior. So I’m concerned because the more room the variant has to spread, the more it can mutate. And new variants might end up weakening our vaccines. So it’s imperative that more people get the shots and get vaccinated against COVID-19.