COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW) — Ohio officials held a press conference Friday giving a statewide update on COVID and explaining how the delta variant is different from other strains of the virus.
The Centers for Disease Control is tracking data from health departments across the U.S. to monitor COVID-19 transmission rates showing a rise in cases across the state, which suggests the delta variant might be to blame.
Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Bruce Vanderhoff, M.D. says there are three key things that everyone needs to understand about the delta variant:
- “It is absolutely more contagious. That simply means it takes less of the virus to go from an infected person’s nose and mouth to another person’s nose and mouth.”
- “Delta is more dangerous than the prior emergence of the virus. We now have data from Canada and Scotland that show people infected with the delta variant have a much higher likelihood of needing to be hospitalized. Some data coming from Singapore that suggests that people infected with the delta variant are more likely to end up in the ICU or even dying.”
- “There is mounting evidence that the viral loads associated with the delta variant are higher than what we saw with previous strains of the virus. What that means is delta is reproducing itself, creating more copies of itself, much more quickly once it gets inside of our bodies. This likely explains why doctors are observing more and more that delta makes patients sicker quicker.”
Vanderhoff sums it up by saying that delta is more contagious, more dangerous and it makes people sicker quicker, but he assures that vaccines remain very effective against this virus.
“Delta has created 2 Ohios”, he said. “One Ohio that is vaccinated and very well protected and another Ohio that is unvaccinated and vulernable to the ravages of the delta variant.”