The Bristol Press – HEALTHY LIVING: Issues in regards to the new COVID-19 Delta variant
The Delta variant is now the dominant strain of Covid-19 in the United States, accounting for 80 percent of new coronavirus cases in four states, including Connecticut. This means that children are too young to be vaccinated and unvaccinated adults are prone to serious illnesses.
“We are concerned about the Delta variant because it is more easily transmitted from person to person and can cause more serious illness,” said Virginia Bieluch, MD, director of the Infectious Disease Division at the Hospital of Central Connecticut (HOCC).
Connecticut is the state with the highest percentage of Delta cases, along with Kansas, Arkansas and Missouri. However, Connecticut is the fourth most vaccinated state in the country. Connecticut has fully vaccinated more than 61 percent of its population. The other three states have vaccination rates below 40 percent.
Dr. Bieluch says the vaccines are working and the majority of the patients she sees with COVID-19 are unvaccinated – a trend seen in Connecticut and the United States.
“It is very important to still get vaccinated. We know the vaccines do exactly what they were designed to do. The effectiveness of the variants can decrease slightly, but they still offer a certain protection against the virus, ”says Dr. Bieluch. “The way to prevent these variants from spreading and new ones from occurring is to get people vaccinated.”
Dr. Bieluch says those who are not vaccinated must take appropriate measures to avoid transmitting the virus. “If you are not vaccinated, and that includes young children, you must wear masks according to CDC and state guidelines. It doesn’t take much for one unvaccinated person to pass the virus on to another unvaccinated person, ”she says. Vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals must continue to mask themselves in certain facilities such as healthcare facilities, public and private transportation, correctional facilities, and schools.
If you are going to travel this summer, do some research beforehand on where you are going, especially given the spread of the Delta variant. In states with low vaccination rates, regional hotspots are expected to occur.
“Everyone still has to wear a mask when using public transport, for example when flying. If you have been vaccinated, the CDC recommends that you self-monitor when you return home from a trip. If you develop symptoms, you need to get tested and isolate yourself from others, ”said Dr. Bieluch.
The CDC recommendations for unvaccinated individuals are as follows:
Get tested 3 to 5 days after the trip and stay at home and self-quarantined for 7 days.
Stay at home for 7 days even if the test is negative.
If you test positive, you are isolating yourself to protect others from illness.
If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after the trip.
Dr. Virginia Bieluch is the director of the Infectious Disease Division at the Hospital of Central Connecticut. To get vaccinated through a Hartford Healthcare clinic, visit www.hartfordhealthcare.org/vaccine for a list of locations. No appointments are necessary and walk-ins are welcome.
Posted in The Bristol Press, General News on Monday July 12, 2021 at 7:13 pm. Updated: Monday, July 12, 2021 19:15.