As the world cautiously started reopening and vaccination rates were on the rise, COVID-19 had another trick up its sleeve: The Delta Variant. Now, we’re all over this pandemic, the masks, the hand-washing, the social distancing. But, with the world surpassing 4 million in COVID-19 deaths with numbers still on the rise—it’s important to gauge the risk of the Delta Variant which, for all intents and purposes, is more lethal than the original COVID-19 virus.
Alabama’s Current Covid-19 Situation
- Becker’s hospital review ranks Alabama dead last in vaccination rates, with only a little over 33% of our population vaccinated.
- The New York Times’ & Google case-tracker reported 4,671 new COVID-19 cases in the past 14-days in just the state of Alabama.
- Of those cases, 774 were from Mobile County, 322 from Baldwin County, and 505 from Jefferson County.
- July 7th, in Mobile County alone, 303 new COVID-19 cases were reported.
- 841 Alabamians passed away from COVID-19 complications in the past 14 days alone.
- A total of 11,402 Alabamians have passed from the virus.
The Delta Variant
As my high school biology teacher likes to say, viruses are conniving. Meaning that they will adapt as they stop spreading as quickly. When not lethal they’re an interesting study in micro-evolution. But in the case of COVID-19, it means that the virus is adapting to infect as many people as possible, as it is the only way the virus can survive.
What makes it different?
The biggest difference, according to Yale Medicine’s immunologists and virologists, is just how contagious the Delta Variant is. Where the “original” COVID-19 virus can be transmitted from one person to 2.5 people, the Delta Variant is more like 3.5 or 4 people infected by just one positive Delta patient (from a Yale Medicine epidemiologist).
The World Health Organization reported that the Delta Variant is the “fastest and fittest” form of COVID-19.
There currently isn’t data to suggest that the Delta Variant is any more lethal than the original virus, but Everyday Health reports that you are around 2 times more likely to be hospitalized with the Delta Variant than the original variant of COVID-19.
Who is at risk?
Well, we all are. However, current data suggests that only 1% of total COVID-19 hospitalizations are of vaccinated people.
There’s a few different groups at greater risk, but they all fall under the same umbrella: unvaccinated for COVID-19. Whether that be someone under 12, or someone with an autoimmune disease.
The Associated Press reports that almost all COVID-19 deaths in hospitals as of now are entirely preventable, meaning that the person was eligible for a vaccine, but just didn’t take it.
What can we do?
Get vaccinated. If you’re eligible for it, that is the best way to prevent the spread of this Delta variant, to protect yourself, and to protect your loved ones. If you cannot get vaccinated, or are uncomfortable doing so, then masking-up is absolutely essential.
We have made great progress in this pandemic, now is the real challenge. Together, we can make it through this pandemic.