If you’re in the United States, you might be worried about the Delta variant of COVID-19. It makes up nearly all infections in the United States at the moment, which means that it’s an important variant to be aware of, but many people don’t know much about it. Here are five things you need to know about the Delta variant of COVID-19.
1. It’s More Contagious, But Doesn’t Seem to Have Different Symptoms
The main element of the Delta variant that might be important is that it’s more contagious on average. However, the symptoms are mostly the same, largely including infection in the lungs. There are no new signs to watch out for with the Delta variant – if you start losing your sense of smell and taste or having serious coughing fits, it’s still a good idea to get a COVID-19 test.
2. Young People May Be More at Risk From Delta
In the earlier days of the COVID-19 pandemic, many young people heard that they were less at risk of hospitalization or death. However, the Delta variant seems like it may be significantly more impactful toward younger groups of people. If you’re younger, don’t rely on the belief that you’re less at risk than older people, as it might not be as true as it used to be.
3. Vaccines Are Still Highly Effective, Especially Against Hospitalization
One of the potential concerns with virus variants is that vaccines may be less effective against a variant. However, because of the highly scientific research that was used to build the COVID-19 vaccine, it’s still effective against the Delta variant. In fact, the COVID-19 vaccine makes you 10 times less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19 than someone who’s completely unvaccinated.
4. This May Not Be the Last Variant
Unfortunately, we don’t know if the Delta variant is going to be the last serious variant of COVID-19. Many variants come up on a regular basis, but there are differences between serious and non-serious variants. The best way to avoid future serious variants is to make sure that you and the people in your life get vaccinated, as reducing transmission is the easiest way to avoid variant problems.
5. The Information We Have Is Going to Be Changing as We Learn More
The Delta variant is fairly new, and given that we don’t have that much information about COVID-19 as a whole, we also don’t have that much information about the Delta variant. As scientists learn more about COVID-19 in general and the Delta variant specifically, expect that information and recommendations will change; that’s just how science works.
The Delta variant is more transmissible than the original version of COVID-19, and it may be a bit more dangerous, but you can still protect yourself with vaccination and staying safe in general. Your best bet will always be to continue to follow the most recent science, as it can help you stay safe no matter what’s going on.