Research, Technology

'The war has changed': Delta variant is as contagious as chicken pox

At the end of 2019, the world first learned aboutthe existence of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Even then, the virus had the ability to multiply rapidly and often led to death. A year and a half later, everything has changed, although this is hardly noticeable to the uninitiated public. You and I do not know for sure what is happening in covid hospitals and what dynamics of the course of the disease is observed in severe patients connected to mechanical ventilation. And this is normal, after all, not all of us are doctors, let alone infectious disease specialists. In the meantime, scientists and doctors are a dedicated public - their job is to learn as much as possible about the virus in order to develop drugs, vaccines and new treatments. The data collected throughout the pandemic has led researchers to a number of disappointing conclusions - the Delta variant of the coronavirus appears to cause a more severe course of the disease than its earlier variants and spreads as easily as chicken pox. Moreover, according to the CDC, vaccinated people can be carriers of infection and infect unvaccinated people.

The delta variant of the coronavirus is more contagious than SARS, influenza and Ebola - this is the conclusion of American researchers.

How contagious is Delta variant?

According to The Washington Post, citing the CenterAccording to the CDC, the Delta variant of the coronavirus (or scientifically Delta B.1.617.2) may be as contagious as chickenpox. According to the researchers, increased contagiousness with the Indian variant of COVID-19 observed even among vaccinated.

Moreover, the CDC believes that the Delta optionis more likely to be fatal than all other variants of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The slide report contains some of the data - both published and unpublished - that led to the recent change in the CDC's recommendations regarding the need to wear masks. "Recognize that the war has changed," CDC officials wrote in the report.

The high contagiousness of the virus is combined with an increase in the number of hospitalizations and deaths. CDC data

Risk of contracting the Delta variant in the vaccinated, it is probably reduced only by a factor of three. This strain of COVID-19 is more contagious than its closest relatives, the SARS and MERS coronaviruses, as well as Ebola, SARS, seasonal flu, Spanish flu, and chickenpox.

As shown by the results of a smallAccording to a preliminary study, people infected with this strain of coronavirus can carry more than 1,000 times more viral particles than those who were infected with the "original" virus, Live Science reports.

However, it is unclear whether all these viralparticles are infectious and whether the viral load is the same in vaccinated and unvaccinated people. The CDC report states that "Delta variant may cause a more severe course than Alpha variant or other strains."

Coronavirus Delta variant compared to other infectious diseases. CDC data

Read more articles about how the new coronavirus infects cells and enters the brain on our Yandex.Zen channel. There are regularly published articles that are not on the site!

Vaccines are still highly effective, especially inprevent serious illness and death, but may be less effective in preventing infection or delta variant transmission, according to a CDC slide first obtained by the Washington Post.

And again: masks must be worn by everyone

Another important conclusion of the published reportis to revise the recommendations for personal protective equipment (protective masks). The data and research cited in the paper played a key role in revisiting recommendations for protective masks, with experts recommending that vaccinated people wear masks indoors and in public places.

CDC scientists are so alarmed by the newstudy that the agency changed the guidance for vaccinated people earlier this week before the new data was released. "While this is rare, we believe that vaccinated people can spread the virus, so we've updated guidance," a federal health official told The Washington Post on condition of anonymity.

The delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 has overshadowed most of the previous strains in most parts of the world.

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Delta variant and vaccination

As for vaccination, the data once again confirm - vaccination provides substantial protection against the virus. But the paper also says that the risk of transmission from the vaccinated to the unvaccinated depends on a variety of factors, including age and whether someone has a weakened immune system.

Note that the document includes data from a number ofstudies showing that vaccines are not as effective in immunocompromised patients (nursing home residents), making it more likely that some at-risk individuals will need an extra dose of the vaccine.

It is also important that the documentpublic skepticism about vaccination is mentioned as one of the problems: “Vaccines no longer convince the public,” one of the first slides of the presentation says.

Vaccination protects against infection, severe illness and death.

Walter Orenstein, Associate Director of the CenterEmory's vaccinations, telling reporters that he was amazed by the data showing that vaccinated people who contract Delta shed the same amount of viral particles as those who were not vaccinated. So in a sense, vaccination is now about personal protection—protection against infection and severe disease. “Hed immunity is irrelevant as we see a lot of evidence of recurrent and breakthrough infections,” the researchers note.

Read also: Myths and facts about COVID-19 vaccination. We understand on the fingers

Kathleen Neusil, Vaccine Expert at Medicalof the University of Maryland School, believes that vaccinating more people remains a priority, but the public may also have to change their minds about a virus that is almost certainly not going anywhere for the foreseeable future. In a word, sign up for vaccination and be healthy.