Updated: Aug 4
Social media is abuzz with the following question: "Why do I need to wear a mask if I am fully vaccinated?"
SUMMARY: The COVID-19 Delta variant is much more infectious and can quickly spread through a population. While most vaccinated people do not get seriously ill, they do get infected and can pass the virus along to un- or under-vaccinated individuals. These developments led once again to indoor masking requirements in areas of high Delta prevalence.
The Delta strain of COVID-19 emerged in India in December 2020; it featured several mutations that gave it an advantage as an infectious agent and allowed it to quickly spread and become the predominant circulating variant in numerous countries since then, including UK, Israel, and United States. To date, It is responsible for 83% of all COVID-19 cases in the States.
Mutation in the spike protein that allowed the virus to evade the immune defenses developed against earlier strains (and vaccines designed against those strains)
Faster and more efficient replication, leading to production of more viral copies (1,ooox more copies) and more quickly (peaking on day 3 vs day 5).
The latest analysis suggests that Delta is one of the more infectious viruses with a R0 of 6 and perhaps even as high as 9 (earlier strains were on the order of 2) and that vaccinated people may pass it along as efficiently as the unvaccinated.
Among the vaccinated, Delta poses little risk and many are asymptomatic or have mild cold-like symptoms that can include fever, headache, sore throat, and runny nose; loss of smell and cough are rarely seen. More severe symptoms can include hearing impairment, severe GI issues, and blood clots.
If you think you have COVID or have been exposed to someone that tested positive, please isolate and consider getting tested. And please wear a mask when interacting with others indoors since you may pass along the virus without being aware of it. Protect yourself and others -- wear a mask and get vaccinated!!!!
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