The SARS-CoV-2 mutation known as the “delta variant” is up to 3x more contagious than the original strain, reports a new study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The delta variant was first identified in India in December 2020 and has since become the dominant strain of COVID in many countries. According to the CDC’s report, delta is now responsible for more than 80% of new COVID cases in the United States.
Delta reproduces much faster than the original strain inside a host, growing to a presence roughly 1,000x larger and producing symptoms within 4 days of infection. The original virus took an average of 6 days to produce symptoms.
COVID vaccines produced by Pfizer, Moderna, and AstraZeneca are up to 90% effective against delta, though infections have occurred.
In some areas of the United States, vaccinated individuals make up less than 1% of COVID deaths and roughly 3% of hospitalizations.
“We know that the delta variant…is currently surging in pockets of the country with low vaccination rates,” says CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. “We also know that our authorized vaccines prevent severe disease, hospitalization, and death from the delta variant.”
If you are not fully vaccinated and you happen to come into contact with a person diagnosed with delta or any form of COVID, the CDC strongly recommends quarantining for two weeks.