CDC confirms leaked data about delta variant
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A leaked report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the form of a slideshow, contains data about the delta variant of COVID-19 that health experts say is concerning.
The CDC reports that more than 90% of vaccinated individuals are protected from severe infection, but breakthrough cases are still possible and they may be as transmissible as cases from unvaccinated individuals.
“They can still acquire it and even if they don’t develop symptoms or illness because they’re protected by their vaccine, the risk is that they have the virus in their body and they’re able to spread it out to those around them,” said DHEC Medical Consultant, Dr. Jonathan Knoche.
Data suggest unvaccinated individuals may also contract more severe disease. Children under 12 years of age are considered an at-risk group because they are not yet able to get vaccinated.
Physicians are concerned about the variant because data show it is more contagious.
One person with a previous strain of COVID, such as the alpha variant, could infect an average of one to three people. Doctors say that’s the same rate of infection as the common cold.
Someone with the delta variant, however, can infect eight or nine people on average. That’s the same infection rate as chicken pox.
Doctors say the best way to avoid severe infection, hospitalization, and death is to get vaccinated.
Infectious Disease Expert at Prisma Health, Dr. Helmut Albrecht, says only unvaccinated individuals are showing severe disease in his clinic. He says the best way to prevent severe disease is to get vaccinated.
“We want your immune system -- when you encounter the real virus -- we want that to be trained, and we want to train it safely, and the training is called vaccinating,” said Albrecht.
The CDC’s preliminary data explain why the department updated mask recommendations, stating everyone should wear a mask indoors in public situations, regardless of vaccination status.
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