Delta Variant continues to cause concern among healthcare experts

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – The Delta variant is a version of the coronavirus that has been found in more than 80 countries, but was first detected in India.

This new variant of the coronavirus continues to be a concern for healthcare experts as they say it poses the biggest threat towards damaging our progress.

“It’s very contagious. It’s about 75% more contagious than the original type of Covid-19. It’s causing more severe disease in younger people – adults and middle aged people are getting sicker from it than the original virus,” says Dr. Mark Anderson, CHI Memorial.

Local healthcare experts say this new variant is of major concern for many states in the South including Tennessee – as the majority of the population has yet to be fully vaccinated-leaving us extremely vulnerable. 

“ We still have hundreds of Americans dying every week of this disease. Ninety nine plus percent of them are people who are unvaccinated. That’s where this virus really is circulating among unvaccinated Americans. And if you don’t want to be one of those people, it’s really straightforward. Go get vaccinated,” says Dr. Ashish Jha, Brown University School of Public Health. 

Locally, doctors say that although they are not yet seeing a surge in hospitalizations, most of the hospitalized are coming from the surrounding counties.  

“National average is somewhere around 45% of Americans have been completely vaccinated. Hamilton County is right at 41%. If you start looking at Polk, Sequatchie, Bradley and Rhea you will see numbers anywhere from 2-% to 31%,” says Dr. Jay Sizemore, Erlanger Hospital.

Health officials say that although the vaccine is believed to help protect you against the delta variant and lessen your chances for severe symptoms. 

For more information about this variant or where you can get vaccinated.

Categories: Chattanooga, COVID-19, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News, Regional News