New Variants of Covid Could Have A Much Higher Death Rate

Tom Stevenson
Photo by Corina Rainer/Unsplash

Florida is suffering from Covid at the moment. The Delta variant is sweeping across the state and case numbers have risen in the past month. With August being the deadliest month of the pandemic so far in the state.

An additional 1,338 deaths were added to the total on Thursday, which brings the number of people who've died from Covid in the state to 45,909 as of writing. Although this number doesn't take into account excess deaths, which means the true figure is likely even higher.

The Delta variant has caused a lot of pain across America and things could get much worse if a future variant develops and spreads across the state. The Lambda variant is already in Florida and has the potential to evade vaccines. But what if a new variant developed which was even deadlier and more resistant to vaccines?

A study by Harvard Medical School highlights the possibility a new variant could spread and cause more trouble, especially if large numbers of the population remain unvaccinated:

Delta exploded in India over the winter, infecting millions. In a matter of weeks, cases and deaths soared, followed by a rise in cases around the world as the new variant, believed to be roughly twice as infectious as the original, spread. Delta’s rise reinforced warnings by global experts that, in a connected world, leaving millions unvaccinated raises the likelihood that more transmissible — and even more lethal — variants will spread even to vaccinated nations. In fact, variants have continued to develop and spread since the emergence of delta. The World Health Organization has designated variants Eta, Iota, Kappa, and Lambda “variants of interest” and is tracking 13 additional variants that originated in the U.S., Brazil, the Philippines, Indonesia, Colombia, and other nations.

With the Alpha and Delta variants arising over the past year, we've seen how quickly a new variant can develop and spread. Should this happen again, the potential for the virus to mutate into an even more deadly variant is real.

Should a mutation develop which is more transmissible and deadly, deaths and cases could approach the seen during the Spanish flu from 1918 to 1921. Although it's unlikely deaths would reach this high, it could happen in a worst-case scenario.

While this may or may not happen, we do know it's a possibility. New variants are springing up all the time, although most of them die out without causing any trouble. In the case of Delta, some of them mutate and spread rapidly throughout the population.

With Florida battling the Delta variant and hospitals filling up, the last thing the state needs is a new and more transmissible variant. But with cases so high, the odds of a new variant increase. Should the nightmare scenario happen, the pandemic could run for a little while yet.

Leave me a comment with your thoughts on whether you're worried about new variants or not below.

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