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WHO says Delta variant is becoming dominant strain globally

Published: Jun. 18, 2021 at 8:28 PM CDT
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JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - The World Health Organization said the Delta variant of COVID-19 is quickly becoming the dominant variant worldwide.

The WHO’s chief scientist made that announcement Friday morning.

The Delta variant was first identified in India and health experts said it’s becoming the dominant variant because it’s highly transmissible.

Doctors said it’s about 60% more contagious than the “Alpha” variant first identified in the UK.

The Centers for Disease Control said the Delta variant now makes up more than 10% of all new cases in the U.S. That’s up from 6% last week.

Health experts said the Delta variant has spread to more than 80 countries and continues to mutate.

Local doctors said that’s especially concerning here in Alabama, where vaccination rates are low, comparing the situation to a hurricane warning.

“In this case, getting that vaccine is boarding up your windows, or moving to a safe place where you can. I just encourage people to really look at this information on these variants coming out that are more easy to spread from person to person and say, ‘You know, if I haven’t been vaccinated this is something to worry about, this something that I want to be able to control, and something that I want to say this isn’t going to happen in my life,’” said Dr. Wesley Willeford, Medical Director of Disease Control for the Jefferson County Department of Health.

Dr. Willeford said the current COVID-19 vaccine products will protect against the variants including the Delta strain, which health leaders said is all the more reason to get the shot.

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