Delta variant as contagious as chickenpox, measles

Posted at 8:03 AM, Jul 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-30 08:05:52-04

FORT MYERS, Fla — A new document from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the Delta variant of the Coronavirus may be as contagious as the chickenpox and measles.

This may explain why we're seeing such a significant surge in hospitalizations.

The latest numbers from Lee Health show there are 217 COVID-19 patients isolated in its hospitals.

That's a big difference from a little over a month ago, when the hospital actually announced it would stop releasing these stats on a daily basis. Things had started to improve with just 33 COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Thursday, Lee Health saw 35 new COVID-19 admissions. Currently, 21 COVID-19 patients are on ventilators and 43 are in the ICU.

The CDC says the Delta variant is one of the most transmissible viruses we know about.

To put things into perspective on a state level, Florida has nearly 9,000 COVID-19 hospitalizations right now.

The CDC believes each infected person is infecting eight or nine others, on average. That's a big difference from the common cold, where it's passed to an average of two.

Florida’s Hospital Association worries if more people don't get vaccinated and trends continue, we'll exceed 2020’s peak in a matter of days.

“Our strongest message, of course, is that those who are being hospitalized over 95% are unvaccinated. We need people to get vaccinated," said Mary Mayhew, president of Florida’s Hospital Association.

More shots will mean fewer serious cases in coming weeks.

You should also know that getting vaccinated might not keep you from spreading the variant.

While it makes you safer, the new document shows fully vaccinated people might spread it at the same rate as unvaccinated people.

That's exactly why we're seeing a rollback on federal recommendations to put the mask back on indoors, regardless.

"83% of all infections with COVID right now across the country are the Delta variant and I think it's really, really important, the CDC, when they made their original recommendations to allow people, recommend people take their masks off, the Delta variant was at 1% in the United States," said Dr. Matthew Denenberg, a pediatric emergency physician.