CLEVELAND, OH—The reported cases of COVID-19 has risen significantly across the United States. This is caused by the newly mutated Delta Variant of COVID-19. In response, the Central Disease Control, or CDC, has implemented a new mask guideline to help prevent the spread of the Delta Variant.
Infectious disease expert Kristin Englund, MD, from Cleveland Clinic shares some tips on how to stay safe and protected from the Delta Variant.
The new guidelines from CDC stated that everyone, regardless of their vaccination status, should still wear a mask, even indoors and at all times in areas with high transmission of COVID-19.
“New data indicates that we could soon go back to much broader guidelines that might be similar to 2020 when universal masking was ongoing in every situation,” Dr. Englund says. “Everyone should assume that their county will be an area of substantial and high transmission sooner rather than later,” she adds.
The data from CDC showed that during the explosion of cases on July 30 in several public events in the Massachusetts community, 90% of the cases were from the Delta Variant, and the virus infects both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons. Dr. Englund says this means vaccinated persons that get infected by the Delta Variant could also spread the virus.
“With the original strain of COVID-19, we saw a replication quotient of R2. That means every person infected with the virus could infect two people,” she notes. “The replication quotient for the delta variant is R8, meaning an infected person could spread the virus to as many as eight other people.”
Fortunately, vaccinated people had shows lower risk of severe illness from the new cases “If you’re vaccinated, your risk of severe illness, hospitalization or death is at least 10 times lower than if you’re unvaccinated and become infected.” She adds.
She also said that mask is still the best way to protect yourself from COVID-19, and even the delta variant. The most effective way to protect yourself and your loved ones is to employ multiple safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
“Masks, social distancing, and, most importantly, getting fully vaccinated are all key to not just keeping yourself safe but your community safe, too,” she points out. “We need to employ every tool in our toolbox.”
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