Doctors and experts warned us that COVID can mutate and spread faster. It's finally here. A highly contagious, easily spread variant of COVID is now dominant in the USA, and furthermore, it spiked in Florida. Doctors are worried about this for a few reasons.
This article discusses the recent surge of the Delta variant and what problems doctors anticipate will come from it.
What is the Delta Variant?
Delta is the name given to a specific variant of the original COVID-19 virus. Basically, it's the same virus but mutated so that it spreads more easily among people. This variant was first seen in India in December and is now the dominant variant in the USA, with numbers rapidly rising in Florida.
The Variant Spiked in the Country and Florida
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 50% of the COVID-19 cases in the country are from the Delta variant. Specifically, the number is at 51%. That is a huge spike in the country overall.
Of course, Florida sees that spike as well, with cases, steadily climbing and expected to keep climbing since the Delta variant is 1) more easily transmissible and 2) can be spread by vaccinated people regardless of symptoms.
For Florida, specifically, the variant is now heavily present in at least 34 counties across the state.
Doctors Are Worried
Of course, the emergence and spike of the Delta variant have left many doctors worried, especially since Florida is in full summer swing.
Dr. Olayemi Osiyemi commented on the spread of the Delta variant this summer.
"The weather is very nice. Everybody is hanging out and you also have people traveling from all over the state, the country coming in, so yeah it's just a matter of time."
Furthermore, as more people get sick from the Delta variant, hospitals and doctors worry that the surge will create another strain on the medical field.
There Is Some Good News
The good news is that the approved vaccines still seem to be effective against the Delta variant, offering some protection against serious illness, hospitalizations, and death. However, not all Floridians are fully vaccinated, which allows the variant to spread faster and to sicken the population.
Partially vaccinated individuals have very little protection, as a recent study showed that the Pfizer vaccine is only 33% effective if you had a single dose out of the two-dose series.
President Joe Biden has commented on the spread of the Delta variant in a tweet urging citizens to get vaccinated.
"We're closer than ever to declaring our independence from COVID-19, but the fight is not over yet. Powerful strains like the Delta variants have emerged. The best defense against these deadly variants is simple: get vaccinated."
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