The more transmissible ‘Delta’ variant is spreading quickly in the US in under-vaccinated states in the South and West (Pictures: AP)
The more transmissible Indian ‘Delta’ variant is spreading quickly in the US among under-vaccinated states which are seeing an increase in Covid-19 cases. Counties in the South and West are experiencing a rise in cases as experts warn of ‘dense outbreaks’ of the Delta variant in certain communities.
Parts of states including Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Wyoming recorded 100 to 500 infections per 100,000 people in the last seven days – far higher than the 23.9 cases per 100,000 national average, according to a recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report.
There appears to be a correlation between higher case rates and lower vaccination rates. In all five of those states, less than 35% of the population is vaccinated against the coronavirus, falling under the national average of 45.6%, CDC data reveals.
In addition, all of those states documented a spike in infections tied to the Delta variant. Some of the states reported that more than half of the new cases were linked to the variant.
The Delta variant will likely thrive in specific communities rather than across the US, health experts believe.
‘It’s not going to be as pervasive,’ former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Dr Scott Gottlieb said on CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday. ‘It’s going to hyper-regionalized. There’s certain pockets of the country where you’re going to have very dense outbreaks.’
As of Tuesday, the Delta variant represented 20.6% of coronavirus cases in the US, up 9.9% from two weeks ago, the CDC reported.
The Delta variant is taking ahold in the US as the strain drives an outburst of new cases in the UK. The UK’s coronavirus infection rate climbed 75% from the prior week, while deaths stayed stable. The UK’s surge could signal what is on the horizon for the US, Gottlieb said.
‘I think as you look across the United States, if you’re a community that has low vaccination rates and you also think that there was low immunity from prior infection, so the virus really hasn’t coursed through the local population, those communities are vulnerable,’ he said.
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