JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sheds new light on the delta variant of the coronavirus.
It says the variant spreads as easily as chickenpox and is more dangerous to people’s health than earlier variants.
The Washington Post got an early look at the document, which the CDC confirmed was authentic. The research was later released Friday by health officials.
According to The Washington Post’s report, one of the big takeaways was the CDC says it needs to do a better job of getting the message out to people that vaccines are the best line of defense against hospitalization or death when it comes to the delta variant.
At the same time, the report emphasizes that even if you are vaccinated, you can still transmit the virus.
The documents point out that the delta variant, first detected in India, causes infections that are more contagious than the common cold, flu, smallpox and Ebola virus, and is as infectious as highly contagious chickenpox.
“When I cough, I’m not just producing one or two viral particles. I’m producing 1,000 times more viral particles around me. So people around me are more likely to come in contact with those viral particles in the air through droplets, and it stays in the air as well,” explained infectious disease expert Dr. Mohammed Reza.
The internal document puts a spotlight on the agency’s struggle to get the public to embrace safety protocols, like wearing masks and getting vaccines.
The document also includes data from studies showing vaccines are not as effective in immunocompromised patients and those living in nursing homes, meaning some at-risk people will need an additional vaccine dose.
The report comes as students prepare to start school in a matter of days in some parts of the country, including Southeast Georgia.
Last night, the Florida chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics released a statement on masks in schools. Saying in part:
“The Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics supports the continued, universal use of masks and physical distancing in schools by all individuals including students, faculty members and staff through the end of the 2021-2022 school year.”
It also said....
“Masking should be in addition to the continuation of testing protocols in schools to mitigate the spread of infection.”
Local school districts, for the time being, have said masks are encouraged in the classroom, but not required.
The only exception thus far is Camden County, where school begins Monday.