Take a look outside. Depending on where you live, life may seem like it’s back to normal. Musicians are touring again; fans are flocking to baseball and football games; some cities have allowed shoppers, diners, and gym-goers to leave their masks at home. But as some COVID-19 restrictions disappear, the Delta variant of COVID-19 is sweeping the nation. Read on to find out who is most at risk from the Delta variant, as well as how you can protect yourself.
Who Is Most at Risk from the Delta Variant of COVID-19?
What Is the Delta Variant of COVID-19?
First, what, exactly, is the Delta variant? The Delta variant, otherwise known simply as “Delta,” is currently the predominant variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the United States. Delta is a highly contagious strain of the virus; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) described the variant as more transmissible than the common cold and influenza, as well as the viruses that cause smallpox, MERS, SARS, and Ebola. For vaccinated individuals, a Delta infection typically feels like a light flu or cold with a cough, headache, and sore throat. But for unvaccinated individuals, Delta can cause serious and even fatal illness.
Who Is Most at Risk?
Per the CDC, unvaccinated people are much more likely to get infected with the Delta variant than those who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Fully vaccinated people can get COVID-19 in a phenomenon known as breakthrough infection; however, this happens less often than infections among unvaccinated people. Additionally, Delta cases are typically significantly milder in vaccinated individuals. High-risk patients, such as those with compromised immune systems, are at particular risk, especially if unvaccinated.
Where Is the Variant Surging?
NBC News reports that more than 100,000 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in the United States, with most of those being Delta variant cases. One in every six hospital beds nationwide houses a COVID-19 patient. But where is the virus surging, and why is it hitting some regions harder than others? The New York Times reports that states with low vaccination rates, including Missouri and Arkansas, are seeing a surge of COVID patients.
Protecting Yourself from the Delta Variant
The Delta variant statistics are alarming, particularly for individuals with preexisting health conditions. Fortunately, there are several ways to protect yourself and others as the virus rages on. The CDC recently released updated guidance for individuals in areas of substantial or high COVID transmission. The agency’s guidance includes wearing masks in public indoor places and becoming fully vaccinated as soon as possible if eligible. Ultimately, as the CDC explains, vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your community as the virus continues to evolve. Reducing transmission by increasing vaccinations is a proven strategy to keep the virus from spreading and mutating further.
The data shows that unvaccinated individuals are most at risk from the Delta variant of COVID-19. Fortunately, vaccines are free and readily available nationwide. The CDC recommends that all individuals over the age of 12 get fully vaccinated as soon as possible to help stop the Delta variant in its tracks.
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To get started, you simply need to fill out an online application. After that, within 48 business hours, a recruiting coordinator will contact you for your pre-screening assessment. To learn more, please visit the QPS Missouri website, review the study participation process, or check out our list of frequently asked questions.