The most important thing you should know about the new COVID strain is that the vaccines do offer protection from this variant. For those who have received the vaccine, the new variant is not causing undue alarm, as the vaccine is safe and highly effective against the various strains of COVID. However, even if you are vaccinated, it’s still possible to become a carrier and transmit the virus to others. Because of this, you should consider getting tested if you develop symptoms or think you may have been exposed.
Other important things to know about the new COVID strain include the following:
- It is highly contagious—almost twice as contagious as other variants of COVID, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In fact, the Delta variant is more readily transmissible than the common cold.
- Research suggests the new COVID strain may be twice as likely to result in hospitalization compared to the Alpha strain (among unvaccinated patients).
- Unvaccinated people are most at risk of being infected with the Delta variant and of developing severe complications from it, including death.
- The Delta variant grows more rapidly in a person’s respiratory tract, which can lead to patients getting quite sick much more quickly than with the original virus.
Lastly, COVID testing does accurately detect the presence of the Delta variant. However, patients will not know which particular variant they may have unless their sample undergoes genomic sequence testing.