What Is the Delta Variant And Why Are We Concerned About It?

James MaGuire, Student Reporter

The Delta Variant is a new strain of COVID-19 that is 50% more contagious than the original COVID virus. This new strain has put progress toward pandemic relief efforts on an uphill battle for both colleges and local communities alike.

Everyone was hopeful of having a return normal school year this year, but things aren’t back to normal just yet. The Delta Variant is the main cause for the continued use of masks and further encouragement to get vaccinated.

Studies have indicated that the Delta Variant is spreading 50% faster than the Alpha Variant, which was 50% more contagious than the original COVID virus. While studies have shown that fully vaccinated individuals have much better protection against the virus, masks are still recommended to curb the virus’s spread. Although breakthrough cases are considered rare, vaccinated individuals can still get and spread COVID.

The Delta Variant seems to be affecting teens and younger age groups at a higher percentage than older people. As of July, less than 50% of teens in America were vaccinated. The Delta strain is twice as likely to result in hospitalization as the Alpha strain among unvaccinated individuals.

The Delta Variant was discovered in India in December of 2020. It quickly infected much of India and then Great Britain before making landfall in the United States. The Delta Variant is now the dominant strain in terms of cases here in the U.S. As the variant strain hit the United States, cases and hospitalizations quickly rose, despite a steady decline in the months before.