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Delta variant becomes dominant strain in Arizona

Experts stress serious danger of delta variant
Posted at 8:30 PM, Jul 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-22 01:25:26-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — According to researchers, the delta variant is now the dominant COVID-19 strain in Arizona.

Dr. Shad Marvasti is an associate professor and the Director of Public Health & Prevention at the University of Arizona College of Medicine (Phoenix).

He says the increasing trend of delta variant cases is concerning.

“People should be more aware and seriously concerned about the delta variant in Arizona and nationally,” he told KGUN9.

Dr. Marvasti says this variant has been doubling in the U.S. every two weeks, for the last month. Though he says that isn’t the only worry.

“It is, you know, about 225% more infectious than the original strain that came out of Wuhan China. So we should definitely be worried. We should be concerned. We should change our mitigation measures,” he added.

He says the best defense against the delta variant is getting the vaccine.

“We have a pandemic of the unvaccinated, but we also have a role of the vaccinated in spreading it,” added Dr. Marvasti.

He says those who are vaccinated also have to do their part, by shrinking their social circles and wearing masks in public spaces that are indoors. The main reason being: folks who are vaccinated can get breakthrough infection.

“That means even though you are fully vaccinated and you have some level of immunity, the virus breaks through that immunity and infects you anyway,” he told KGUN9.

The delta plus variant also exists now, a strain Dr. Marvasti says is thought to be more contagious than the delta variant.

“Although it still remains to be seen if it’s more deadly,” he added.

At this time, he says having the vaccine is still your best defense against COVID-19, but cannot assure the effectiveness as variants arise.

“In fact, the effectiveness of the vaccine is less with the delta variant than it has been for all previous variants,” he said.

While Dr. Marvasti says wearing a mask is the best course of action, the CDC is sticking with guidance that allows vaccinated people to go maskless.