1 in 5 People in the U.S. With COVID Right Now Have This in Common
New data is showing a similarity among a large number of those currently infected.
COVID cases have dropped dramatically in the U.S. over the last few months, but people are still getting infected in the country—whether they're unvaccinated or it's a rare breakthrough infection. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that there have been between 7,000 to 13,000 new cases each day in the country over the last week. Now, researchers are seeing a similarity among many of these currently infected patients. According to new data, 1 in 5 people in the U.S. infected with COVID right now have the Delta variant.
During a White House press briefing on June 22, COVID adviser Anthony Fauci, MD, revealed that the U.S. is following a similar "pattern with the Delta variant" that the U.K. has. Recent data from Public Health England revealed that 99 percent of cases in the country are the result of the Delta variant, which originated in India.
Fauci says the U.S. is headed in the same direction. According to the infectious disease expert, 20.6 percent of people with COVID in the U.S. right now are infected with the Delta variant. This is more than double the percentage that was seen two weeks ago on June 5, when the variant made up only 9.9 percent of cases. And two weeks before that, on May 22, just 2.7 percent of cases in the U.S. were caused by the Delta variant, per Fauci.
"Similar to the situation in the U.K., the Delta variant is currently the greatest threat in the U.S. to our attempt to eliminate COVID-19," Fauci said.
According to Fauci, the transmissibility of the Delta variant is "unquestionably greater" than the original strain of COVID and the current dominant U.S. variant, Alpha. "It is associated with an increased disease severity, as reflected by hospitalization risk, compared to Alpha," Fauci said.
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There is good news, however. "Our vaccines are effective against the Delta variant," Fauci said. According to the infectious disease expert, the Pfizer vaccine is still 88 percent effective against Delta in terms of symptomatic disease and 92 percent effective against hospitalizations two weeks after the second dose.
"We have the tools, so let's use them and crush the outbreak," Fauci said, urging those in the U.S. to get vaccinated. According to the CDC, only 45.3 percent of U.S. adults are fully vaccinated.
"We know our vaccines work against [the Delta] variant. However, this variant represents a set of mutations that could lead to future mutations that evade our vaccine. And that's why it's more important than ever to get vaccinated now, to stop the chain of infection, the chain of mutations that could lead to a more dangerous variant," CDC director Rochelle Walensky, MD, said during the same briefing.