The Delta variant is spreading rapidly since spring 2021. After upending lives in India, the strain is now on a mission to wreak havoc on the population health in other countries and continents. The upward COVID-19 momentum is now raising doubts about the pandemic’s end and normalization and may fail all the efforts taken by the governments worldwide since 2020. It looks like this highly contagious strain can quickly worsen the current coronavirus pandemic situation. Plus, it may amplify the risk levels among unvaccinated individuals and children under the age of 12. Could this mean another COVID-19 surge risking workplace safety in the delta variant world? Let’s find out!
Why Delta is a Variant of Concern?
The Delta variant was first discovered in India as a highly transmissible, double-mutant variant. The country, which otherwise had an excellent pandemic response in place, experienced a rapid rise in cases, hospitalization, and soaring fatalities due to the coronavirus disease. Right after the Indian coronavirus situation, the WHO flagged Delta as a variant of concern. In just mere four weeks, the new viral strain traveled many countries and continents and has become the most dominant strain across the globe lately. This SARS-CoV-2 variant has been circulating in the USA and causing a rapid rise in daily infection, hospitalization, and deaths.
What Epidemiologists Have to Say?
Epidemiologists predicted a third COVID-19 surge in early May. The third surge was expected to be less severe than the two earlier ones. However, the entire world is experiencing a rapid rise in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations due to the highly virulent Delta strain. The variant has already infected a sizeable unvaccinated population in the USA, per a recent nationwide study. That raises doubts on the previous prediction of herd immunity threshold, which was between 60% to 70% of the entire population. With Delta, the threshold is likely between 80% to 90% or even more, researchers say.
Read our Delta and Lambda COVID-19 varinats blog post.
Can Delta Overturn Our Pandemic Response?
Due to the nature of this strain, the variant is considered a highly dangerous strain amongst all SARS-CoV-2 variants. Some of the main concerns of these variants are outlined below.
Highly Contagious – The Delta strain can spread more efficiently than its previously detected siblings. Studies have stated that Delta is spreading 50% faster than Alpha, which was also 50% more contagious than the original strain of SARS-CoV-2.
Affects Unvaccinated – This new strain has detrimental effects on unvaccinated people. People who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are at risk of contracting the virus and get severe symptoms.
Severe Symptoms – Delta accelerates the symptoms at a rapid rate than its previous siblings. Victims may show severe symptoms like breathing problems, oxygen level depletion, and asphyxia quickly with this infection. That is the major reason for more death in Delta-led infections.
Hyper-Local Outbreaks – Not all counties in the USA are up-to-the-mark when it comes to vaccination. That’s the reason why Delta could lead to a hyper-local outbreak in communities and counties across the US. In fact, the currents infection surge is due to the rapid spreading of Delta in the unvaccinated population.
New Symptoms – There were multiple reports of completely new symptoms caused due to the Delta strain. Some of the reported symptoms include sudden asphyxia, Black and Yellow Fungus infection, severe breathing disorder, impaired brain function, and neurological symptoms.
Vaccination Efficacy – This coronavirus strain may also affect vaccinated individuals even though the symptoms will be mild. The efficacies of non-mRNA-based vaccines against the Delta strain are still under research.
Based on the current virus situation, the Delta variant could possibly bring a third COVID-19 surge worldwide. Here is an informative article by Wall Street Journal on the Delta variant.
What Employers Should Do?
To keep the workplace safe and free of disease outbreaks, the employer should continue with their workplace infection control program to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 infections. Periodic testing, vaccination drive, COVID-19 Infection Control Officer to oversee workforce safety, and daily health screening are highly recommended to keep your employees safe from COVID-19 infections.
Watch Axiom Medical experts discussing workplace lawsuits and liability. Click the image below!
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