The delta variant of the coronavirus is one of the most infectious respiratory viruses we know of and that I have seen in my 20-year career. — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky
The delta variant of the coronavirus is one of the most infectious respiratory viruses we know of and that I have seen in my 20-year career. — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensky
CDC warns this is ‘pivotal moment’ in fight against delta variant
Top Biden administration officials on Thursday said that a hyper-transmissible variant of the coronavirus is posing new challenges for the nation’s health system, urging millions of unvaccinated Americans to get shots to protect themselves and their communities.

The delta variant, first detected in India, now represents more than 83 percent of cases circulating in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. People infected with the variant appear to carry a viral load that is more than 1,000 times that of those infected with earlier forms of the virus, allowing the virus to spread rapidly among unvaccinated people, scientists have found.

“The delta variant is more aggressive and much more transmissible than previously circulating strains. It is one of the most infectious respiratory viruses we know of and that I have seen in my 20-year career,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky told reporters.

“We are yet at another pivotal moment in this pandemic, with cases rising again and some hospitals reaching their capacity in some areas,” Walensky added. “We need to come together as one nation, unified in our resolve to protect the health of ourselves, our children, our community, our country and our future with the tools we have available.”

The daily average of confirmed coronavirus cases has roughly quadrupled during July, from about 13,000 per day at the start of the month to 43,243 now, according to The Washington Post’s seven-day average of infections. The virus is spreading most rapidly across the South and Midwest, in states with low vaccination rates, and hospital officials there say they are reeling from a new surge of patients, driven by the delta variant.


... Public health experts said they have growing questions about the risk of vaccinated people contracting the virus and infecting others, particularly because the CDC is tracking only the most serious of those cases.

“There are clearly examples of vaccinated people spreading the virus. The question is, how often is it happening? We don’t know the answer to that,” said Walid Gellad, the director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Pharmaceutical Policy and Prescribing.

Gellad criticized the CDC for not offering additional guidance for Americans who have been fully vaccinated, such as when they should be getting tested.

“Preparing the public and preparing clinicians for breakthrough infections, that’s the piece I think we’re not seeing,” Gellad said. “They need to readdress that. We need to know these things now, because two months from now is too late.”

... “If you are not vaccinated, please take the delta variant seriously,” Walensky said. “This virus has no incentive to let up, and it remains in search of the next vulnerable person to infect.”
Read the full article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2021/07/22/walensky-pivotal-moment-delta-variant/