The COVID-19 Delta Variant is “the Fastest and Fittest”. Protect Yourself.

The Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus has quickly become the dominant strain in the U.S. As it continues to spread rapidly, especially among the unvaccinated, you should know why this variant is more dangerous and how to best protect yourself and your loved ones.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has called this version of the virus “the fastest and fittest.” People who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are most at risk. A study in Scotland revealed that people infected with Delta were 85% more likely to be hospitalized than people infected with the previous Alpha strain. Delta was spreading 60% faster than Alpha, which is 60% more contagious than the original strain of SARS-CoV-2. Delta seems to be impacting younger age groups more than previous variants, with children and adults under age 50 being more likely to become infected with Delta.

Why is it so much more dangerous?

Recently, an internal presentation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) detailed how dangerous the Delta variant really is. They related that it could be as contagious as chickenpox, one of the more transmissible viruses, and spreads more easily than the common cold, the 1918 flu and smallpox.

With the Delta variant, the “load” of virus, or the amount of virus in an infected person’s blood, is likely to be at least 1,000 times greater than the amount harbored by those infected with the original COVID-19 virus. This means that those who carried the original COVID-19 virus strain could infect 2.5 people, whereas the Delta variant could infect up to 6 people. It has also been demonstrated that even fully vaccinated individuals who become infected with the Delta variant can readily transmit the infection to others.

How to reduce your risk

The CDC presentation stated that vaccination significantly reduces the risk of severe disease and death from COVID-19 by at least tenfold and reduces the risk of infection by threefold. Vaccinated people are better equipped to fight the virus and unlikely to get sick or be hospitalized if they do become infected.

Moreover, vaccinated individuals will have much lower viral loads and represent less risk to others. Additionally, you are encouraged to continue using other precautions, including frequent handwashing and wearing a mask when indoors or among crowds.

If you would like to schedule a vaccine appointment, or are assisting your friends and family, please visit the CDC’s COVID-19 vaccine finder,, to locate the nearest vaccination center.