STATEWIDE — On Tuesday, June 22, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced that it added the Delta Variant to its COVID-19 Variants of Concern Dashboard.
The COVID-19 Delta variant, classified as B.1.617.2 of the virus, has been circulating throughout the United States and one that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has classified as one of concern.
The first known cases of the Delta variant were identified in India. According to the CDC, it has since been detected in at least 41 U.S. states and, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 80 countries.
Concern over the Delta variant revolves around how highly contagious it is.
“When these viruses mutate, they do so with some advantage to the virus. In this case, it is more transmissible,” said Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC. Walensky went on to express concern that the variant would become the dominant one in the United States.
Data shows that 10 percent of new COVID-19 cases in the United States are of the Delta variant.
“The Delta variant is currently the greatest threat in the U.S. to our attempt to eliminate COVID-19,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in a White House press briefing on Tuesday, June 22.
Symptoms of the variant include fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion, runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea. It is also important to note that a person could be infected with the variant but not exhibit any symptoms.
The CDC’s concern is that the Delta variant may mutate to the point where current vaccination treatments will not work. The CDC continues to emphasize the importance of everyone ages 12 and over to receive one of the three COVID-19 vaccinations available. Those who are not fully vaccinated or only partially vaccinated stand greater risk of contracting the new variant.
A person is considered fully vaccinated either two weeks following the one dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or two weeks following the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna.
To schedule an appointment, visit the website for Vaccinate Virginia.