Delta variant up 70% according to UAB reports

Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 6:21 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - UAB researcher is sounding a warning about the need to get vaccinated. He is pointing to an ever increasing number of the very contagious Delta variant in Alabama.

UAB is one of the few places which is testing, or sequencing, samples of the virus. Samples were dropping, but for the last two weeks the numbers of test samples are showing more and more examples of the Delta variant.

UAB has been testing a number of samples of the virus weekly. The test results recently showed over 70% of the samples they have checked in the last two weeks has the Delta variant.

“The amounts we are seeing now are higher than any we have seen before. This means this strain is extremely contagious and is spreading rapidly,” Derek Moates, UAB Researcher said.

Moates said the strain is spreading rapidly because it contains more of the virus or what is called higher viral loads than the original COVID-19. People who are unvaccinated can be infected in less than minute in a room.

“Unfortunately these high viral loads combined with low vaccination rates is creating a dangerous situation for our state and the only way to stop it from progressing is to get vaccinated,” Moates said.

Moates said the more people who are not vaccinated, the higher the chances the virus can mutate into a strain that vaccines won’t work against. He said vaccinated people are mostly protected against the Delta variant but some could be at risk.

“They are immunocompromised individuals. They are elderly. They have comorbidities which make it harder for them to fight off infections in general,” Moates said.

So Moates said get those shots.

The more we have unvaccinated, the higher the chances of mutation. Those who are unvaccinated need to continue to wear masks and social distance. If not, those numbers are going to continue to increase.

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