FACT FINDERS: Should you be worried now that Delta variant is in Arizona?

Updated: Jun. 15, 2021 at 9:06 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Delta variant of COVID-19, first found in India, has made its way into Arizona.

According to TGen’s dashboard, it has been spotted 66 times in Arizona. However, those tracking COVID-19 expect it may become the dominant variant.

There are a number of concerns, especially for those who are not vaccinated. Dr. Sean Elliot at Tucson Medical Center said one of the biggest concerns is it can spread fast.

He says it is about 40-50% more contagious than the UK, or Alpha variant, which is the dominant variant right now in Arizona.

Keep in mind, he said the Alpha variant was found to be about 50% more contagious than the original strain.

What does this mean for young children or others who are unvaccinated?

”What that means to children in terms of health, is unclear,” Elliott said. “It’s still not clear that people infected with the Delta variant are any sicker than all of the others but there are early suggestions that they are.

“This comes from India, this comes from part of the United Kingdom where people infected with the variant have higher risk of clotting, higher risk of multi-organ failure, higher risk of shock. I mean every single negative, bad outcome you’d like to think about.”

The good news is Dr. Elliott said our current vaccines appear to provide excellent protection against the Delta variant. A new study from Public Health England found the full course of Pfizer was 88% effective against Delta; however, a single shot was only 33% effective.

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