Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Delta spreads 'like wildfire' as doctors study whether it makes patients sicker

CoronavirusAug 02, 2021 11:07AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
3/3 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A lone bird walks past the quiet Circular Quay train station during a lockdown to curb the spread of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Sydney, Australia, July 28, 2021. REUTERS/Loren Elliott/File Photo 2/3

By Deena Beasley

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - With a new wave of COVID-19 infections fueled by the Delta variant striking countries worldwide, disease experts are scrambling to learn whether the latest version of coronavirus is making people - mainly the unvaccinated - sicker than before.

  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that Delta, first identified in India and now dominant worldwide, is "likely more severe" than earlier versions of the virus, according to an internal report made public on Friday.

The agency cited research in Canada, Singapore and Scotland showing that people infected with the Delta variant were more likely to be hospitalized than patients earlier in the pandemic.

    In interviews with Reuters, disease experts said the three papers suggest a greater risk from the variant, but the study populations are limited and the findings have not yet been reviewed by outside experts. Doctors treating patients infected with Delta described a more rapid onset of COVID-19 symptoms, and in many regions an overall increase serious cases.

But the experts said more work is needed to compare outcomes among larger numbers of individuals in epidemiologic studies to sort out whether one variant causes more severe disease than another.

"It's difficult to pin down increase in severity and population bias," said Lawrence Young, a virologist at the UK's Warwick Medical School.

In addition, it is likely that the extraordinary rate of Delta transmission is also contributing to a greater number of severe cases arriving at hospitals, the experts said.

Delta is as contagious as chickenpox and far more contagious than the common cold or flu, according to the CDC report.

Shane Crotty, a virologist at the La Jolla Institute for Immunology in San Diego, said the clearest indication that the variant may cause more severe disease comes from the Scotland study, which found that Delta roughly doubled the risk of hospitalization compared to an earlier version.

The majority of hospitalizations and deaths from coronavirus in the United States are occurring in people who have not been vaccinated. But there is evidence that the shots are less effective in people with compromised immune systems, including the elderly.

For vaccinated, otherwise healthy individuals, the odds are that if they contract COVID-19 they will only experience asymptomatic or mild disease, said Dr. Gregory Poland, infectious disease expert at the Mayo Clinic.

"But they can pass it on to family members and others who may not be so lucky," Poland said. "We have to be vaccinated and masked or we will, for the fourth time now, endure another surge and out of that will come worse variants."

'FULL-ON FLAMES'

    The rate of severe illness, especially in regions where vaccination rates are low, is again straining healthcare workers on the front lines of the pandemic.

    "This is like a wildfire, this is not a smoldering campfire. It is full-on flames right now," said Dr. Michelle Barron, senior medical director of infection prevention and control at Colorado's UCHealth.

Research from China suggesting that the Delta variant replicates much faster and generates 1,000 times more virus in the body compared to the original strain highlights the biggest danger of this new wave, Barron said.

"It is hard to tell if they are more sick because of the Delta variant or if they would have been more sick anyway," she said.

    Other doctors said patients infected with Delta appear to become ill more quickly, and in some cases with more severe symptoms, than those they treated earlier in the pandemic.

    "We are seeing more patients requiring oxygen sooner," said Dr. Benjamin Barlow, chief medical officer at American Family Care, a 28-state chain of urgent care clinics.

    At his clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, Barlow said that around 20% of patients are testing positive for COVID-19, compared with 2-3% a few weeks ago. Patients are assessed at that time for potential hospital admission and oxygen support.

David Montefiori, director of the Laboratory (NYSE:LH) for AIDS Vaccine Research and Development at Duke University Medical Center, said the Delta variant is more infectious and leads to faster onset of illness - particularly for the unvaccinated.

"Frankly there's a severity that comes from this variant that is a little more severe," Montefiori said on a webcast last week. "It's not just easier to transmit, it makes you sicker."

Delta spreads 'like wildfire' as doctors study whether it makes patients sicker
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (9)
MuraliKrishna Brahmandam
MuraliKrishna Brahmandam Aug 02, 2021 9:12PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Delta variant is a befitting reply to countries pursuing Protectionism. no protection from the Alpha Delta Omega
MuraliKrishna Brahmandam
MuraliKrishna Brahmandam Aug 02, 2021 9:10PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
I am the Alpha, (Delta, )and the Omega, virus supremacy is on.
Michael Angelo
Michael Angelo Aug 02, 2021 12:15PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Endless, feed by media, govt propaganda and of course, spreaders because we cannot stop consuming otherwise this carrier goes to the bottom of the sea... we have no captain.
Jeff Thomas
Jeff Thomas Aug 02, 2021 12:12PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
What if this variant is just the beginning of other variants and strains that get worse each time? We could go through the greek alphabet before it's so deadly that we cannot control it? There is already a Lamda variant out there. Perhaps it was engineered to avoid herd and vaccine immunity. Just a terrible thought.
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Aug 02, 2021 9:34AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
JUST Reuters propaganda: “but the study populations are limited and the findings have not yet been reviewed by outside experts”
John Avenetti
John Avenetti Aug 02, 2021 9:29AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
who believes the news anymore? really though???
Mike Blade
Mike Blade Aug 02, 2021 9:29AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Count me out on that one LOL
James Pattison
James Pattison Aug 02, 2021 9:28AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Cdc study in massachusettes shows 4/5 people admitted to hospital for life threarening delta were vaccinated… hmmm
Honey Badger
Honey Badger Aug 02, 2021 9:02AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
CDC study shows 74% of people infected in Massachusetts Covid outbreak were fully vaccinated
Brent Griffiths
Brent Griffiths Aug 02, 2021 9:02AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
You can carry measles if your vaccinated, this has been known for years.
Brent Griffiths
Brent Griffiths Aug 02, 2021 9:02AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
You can carry measles if your vaccinated, this has been known for years.
Meru Pet
Meru Pet Aug 02, 2021 6:43AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
the tip of the peak is may, 24th (source: who)
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email