Highly transmissible Delta Variant popping up in Pueblo
Public Health officials confirmed the Delta variant of COVID-19 is in Pueblo County. The Delta variant is of concern due to the increased transmissibility, more severity of disease including hospitalizations and reduced effectiveness of treatments and vaccines.
The Delta variant has been classified a variant of concern by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC defines a variant of concern as:
A variant for which there is evidence of an increase in transmissibility, more severe disease (e.g., increased hospitalizations or deaths), significant reduction in neutralization by antibodies generated during previous infection or vaccination, reduced effectiveness of treatments or vaccines, or diagnostic detection failures.
“Confirming the Delta variant of COVID-19 is in almost ten people in Pueblo is concerning as that strain of the virus spreads more easily and quickly than other variants, which may lead to more cases of COVID-19,” stated Randy Evetts, public health director at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment.
Dr. Chris Urbina, medical officer of the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment explained, “The current mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) continue to be 83-88 percent effective against the Delta variant, but we are seeing breakthrough cases in some fully vaccinated individuals. These breakthrough cases are of concern for older adults, particularly those in long-term care facilities and those older adults with chronic medical conditions who are at higher risk of severe complications from the COVID 19 infected.”
According to the CDC current data suggest COVID-19 vaccines offer protection against most variants currently spreading in the United States. However, some variants might cause illness in some people even after they are fully vaccinated.
“It can take several weeks to confirm the Delta variant by DNA sequencing at the lab; therefore, it is likely that this variant has been in Pueblo for some time and more cases are likely,” explained Evetts.
COVID-19 continues to spread in Pueblo and variants are circulating. Take steps to protect yourself from the virus:
Get a COVID-19 vaccine when it is available to you.
Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth to help protect yourself and others.
Stay 6 feet apart from others who don’t live with you.
Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated indoor spaces.
Wash your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available.
If you do feel symptoms of COVID-19:
Stay home and distance yourself from others particularly if you are infected with COVID
For additional information and available times, visit www.pueblohealth.org/covid19 or call 719-583-4444
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