THE country is seeing a new wave of Covid-19 cases exploding as a direct result of the spread of the Delta variant.
The new variant is even deadlier than the coronavirus we experienced last year. Here’s how it works and why it’s so dangerous.
Most Americans who are not vaccinated are predicted to get infected with the Delta variantCredit: Reuters
What is the Delta variant?
Delta was first identified in India in December, right during the country’s largest outbreak when it received the brunt of media attention given the growing number of cases exploding there.
The variant spreads faster than any other strain of Covid.
Given how fast it’s spreading and how it has easily overtaken the majority of Covid cases, it prompted the CDC to recommend universal mask-wearing, even for those who are vaccinated.
When will the Delta outbreak get better?
The Delta outbreak is going to get much worse before it gets better.
University of Minnesota Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy epidemiologist Michael Osterholm told Newsday that the rate the variant is spreading is far faster than the country is equipped for.
“The number of intensive-care beds needed could be higher than any time we’ve seen,” he said.
He and his team have found that nearly all of the 100 million Americans who are still unvaccinated are likely to get infected with the variant.
Can the country reach herd immunity?
The Delta variant is so contagious that it’s putting US hopes of herd immunity into question.
University of California, Davis biologist Jonathan Eisen said the variant is blowing studies and predictions out of proportion.
“We’ve failed to shut this down as we have other pandemics,” he said.
The variant moves too quickly for any accurate studies to predict its movement.
“It may be around forevermore, leaving us continually trying to figure out what to do next.”
The variant has put herd immunity into question unless more people get vaccinatedCredit: Reuters