Delta variant causes more severe illness and is as contagious as chickenpox, says US report

The Delta variant which was behind the deadly second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in India during the months of April-May is said to be much more contagious and spreads as easily as chickenpox, according to an internal document from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dr Rochelle P Walensky, the Director of the agency, acknowledged on Tuesday that, "Vaccinated people with so-called breakthrough infections of the Delta variant carry just as much virus in the nose and throat as unvaccinated people and may spread it just as readily, if less often."

The internal document has a detailed study on the variant which is definitely very alarming for all, specially at a time when a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to hit India in the month of August according to experts. Due to the outbreak of the Delta variant, there are about 71,000 new cases per day on an average in the United States, as of Thursday.

The Delta variant is more transmissible than the viruses that cause MERS, SARS, Ebola, the common cold, the seasonal flu, and smallpox.

The Delta variant appears to cause more severe illness and is as contagious as chickenpox.

The document says that unpublished data shows fully vaccinated people might spread the Delta variant at the same rate as unvaccinated people.

The new data suggest that vaccinated people are spreading the virus and contributing to those numbers, although probably to a far lesser degree than the unvaccinated.

Dr Walensky has called transmission by vaccinated people a rare event, but other scientists have suggested it may be more common than once thought.

The CDC recommends that vaccinated people wear masks indoors in public settings in communities with high transmission of the virus.

The agency's data suggest that people with weak immune systems should wear masks even in places with low transmission of the virus.

Infection with the Delta variant produces virus amounts in the airways that are tenfold higher than what is seen in people infected with the Alpha variant.

The amount of virus in a person infected with Delta is a thousandfold more than what is seen in people infected with the original version of the virus.

Source : DNA India