According to CDC director Rochelle Walenksy, a highly-contagious variant of the coronavirus known as the delta Variant, could very well become a dominant strain in the United States.
The variant, according to the World Health Organization, was identified last October in India, and is reported to be present in approximately eighty countries world-wide. It’s alleged to have now been discovered in forty-one states in the U.S..
The variant has been classified as a “variant of concern,” by WHO. This week the CDC upgraded its classification from “variant of interest,” to “variant of concern.”
“When these viruses mutate,” Walensky told ABC News, “they do so with some advantage to the virus. In this case, it’s more transmissible. It’s more transmissible than the alpha variant, or the U.K. variant, that we have here. We saw that quickly become the dominant strain in a period of one or two months, and I anticipate that is going to be what happens with the delta strain here.”
CDC health officials say they are concerned that the delta strain may mutate to a point where it can evade the existing COVID vaccines.
“That’s what we’re actively trying to prevent,” Walensky said. “Which is why we’re really encouraging people to get vaccinated. I will say, as worrisome as this delta strain is with regard to its hyper-transmissibility, our vaccines work. Right now, they are working, and they require actually two doses or to be fully-vaccinated to work. So I would encourage all Americans to get your first shot, and when you get your second shot, you’ll be protected against this delta variant.”
According to Dr. Ashish Jha, the Dean of the Brown University School of Public Health in Providence, the delta variant is “far more contagious than any variant we have seen throughout this entire pandemic.”
As more Americans continue to get vaccinated, and cases decline, close to 600,OOO have perished from COVID-19.
Source: ABC News.