New CDC document reveals how new information about delta variant transmissibility
HOUSTON - An internal document by the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveals new information about the delta variant including how it is impacting those who are vaccinated. It was first published by the Washington Post.
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Dr. Thomas Giordano, Chief of Infectious Diseases at Baylor College of Medicine, walked FOX 26 through what he believes are the key takeaways of the document. First, the COVID-19 vaccine is still the best tool against the disease.
"We still know the vaccines protect against severe disease," he emphasized. "There is no doubt about that."
The document states those who are vaccinated are 10 times less likely to get seriously sick, and 3 times less likely to get infected.
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However, if there is concerning finding if someone who is vaccinated does get infected.
"They may just have high of viral load as someone who is not vaccinated," Dr. Giordano added.
In other words, if you're vaccinated you're still less likely to get infected but if you do get infected, you're just likely as someone who is unvaccinated to infect someone else.
"It's a bit discouraging, we thought that vaccine would prevent transmission," he said. "This is still kind of early data."
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The CDC also suggests the delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox.
"Chickenpox is highly contagious," Dr. Giordano noted. "If you take a room and someone has chickenpox, 90 percent of the people in that room will get chickenpox."
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With the lag in vaccinations and rapid spread of the delta variant, Dr. Giordano says although unlikely, there is always the possibility that it could mutate into something more harmful.
"Viruses have one job and that's to make copies of themselves, and they can't do that if they're floating around in nature," he explained. "They can only do that when they infect a host."
"The more the virus is making copies of itself, the more opportunity we're giving the virus to mutate into these more dangerous forms," Dr. Giordano continued. "The sooner we can break that cycle, the better the whole world's population is."