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Studies underway to determine if Delta variant causes more severe illness compared to earlier strains

As Delta spreads due to being more easily transmissible, experts are now studying if it will make people sicker than previous strains.

Studies done on patients in Canada, Singapore and Scotland show patients that contract the Delta variant are more likely to be hospitalized than from previous strains.

While data and testimony from doctors seems to support the variant making people sicker, the research needs to be reviewed and was also completed on limited populations.

Experts say the rate of transmission may be contributing to the amount of severe cases arriving at hospitals.

The CDC says it’s more contagious than chickenpox and even more contagious than the flu or a cold.


The most significant study was that of Scotland’s population, showing that Delta doubled the risk of hospitalization in comparison to the earlier strains.

Deaths are mainly being seen in unvaccinated individuals, but the shots are less effective in those with weaker immune systems and elderly individuals.

Healthy vaccinated people may have asymptomatic or mild symptoms if they contract the disease. They can infect others still.

Healthcare workers are becoming strained again, especially in areas where vaccination rates are low.

Right now the studies are looking to see if people just appear to be getting sicker because it’s so easily contracted, or if people really are getting infected more severely.

One study showed the Delta variant replicates faster, resulting in 1,000 times more virus being generated compared to earlier strains.



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