HOUSTON - Local health officials say there is growing concern about the increasing number of adults and children with the Delta variant.
Harris County is at its lowest Covid case and death rate since the start of the pandemic, but experts say we are not in the clear.
"This virus has thrown every curve ball at us that we can imagine," said Dr. David Persse, the Chief Medical Officer for the City of Houston. "It is absolutely here, and there is no reason to behave like it won't behave like the other variants, like it has in other communities."
Dr. Persse says the Delta variant is more contagious than the original strain. Information is still scarce about the variant, but doctors say those infected may be at a higher risk of hospitalization.
"The main risk that typical happens with Covid-19 that causes you to end up in the hospital are respiratory- having trouble breathing. There is a possible risk that that chance is increased with the Delta variant compared to some of the other variants," said Dr. Maria Rivera with Harris County Public Health.
Harris County Unincorporated areas reported six cases. Houston Methodist reporting 48 cases. Texas Children’s Hospital says several kids have tested positive with the delta variant.
Yes children. Although on ages 12-17 can get the vaccine, there is advice for parents with young kids.
"Right now, the recommendations are that any child that is over the age of two that has not been vaccinated, still continue to wear a mask when they are in public places. Some people even recommend the whole family mask, even if adults have been vaccinated. It is being a good role model for the child," said Dr. Rivera. "Right now, we know the vaccine can fight against the delta variant, but one of the concerns is that we could get another variant down the line where the vaccine is no longer effective. The only way to prevent that is to get more people vaccinated and we continue to decrease the rates of transmission in our community."
"This transmits a lot more easily, so every time the virus gets that ability to transmit more early, the percent of population that needs to be immune goes up in order to slow it down through herd immunity," said Dr. Persse.
He estimates now reaching herd immunity would be up to 80% of the population being vaccinated. Texas Department of State Health Services says 41.9% are fully vaccinated.