The Indian ‘Delta’ variant could have an increased ability to cause hospitalizations in unvaccinated people, a new study finds.
Researchers from Public Health England found that the variant can cause hospitalizations at a rate double that of the British ‘Alpha’ variant.
It is a worrying sign for the world as the most dominant Covid variant could be even more dangerous for people who have not yet received their injections.
Unvaccinated parts of the US are especially at risk as a Delta-caused outbreak in the US approaches record levels and hospitalizations reach critical levels.
A study shows that the Indian ‘Delta’ variant can cause hospitalizations twice as often as the Alpha COVID-19 variant. The United States is facing a spate of hospitalizations amid a Delta-fueled Covid outbreak. Pictured: A woman in Shreveport, Louisiana, visits her hospitalized husband in the hospital’s Covid ward
Researchers, who findings in Lancet, collected data on all COVID-19 patients identified with the Alpha or Delta variant from March 29 to May 23.
A total of 43,338 patients were included in the study, of which 8,682 with Delta and 34,656 with the Alpha variant.
The team found that 74 percent of all hospitalized participants were unvaccinated.
After adjusting for hazards such as age, comorbidities and other factors that increase the risk of hospitalization, they found that the Delta variant was twice as likely to cause a severe case of the virus.
The data is being revealed as the Delta variant ravages the United States, pushing new cases and hospitalizations near record levels.
More than 100,000 Americans are hospitalized every day because of the virus, the highest level since the winter COVID-19 wave — which is still the largest the country has suffered.
However, unlike the winter, a vaccine is now available that may reduce the virus’ ability to cause hospitalizations.
Parts of the south of the US with lower vaccination coverage are particularly affected by an increase in hospital admissions.
In Alabama, so many patients are in ICU with COVID-19 complications that capacity is de 100 percent sign.
Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas also all report current IC capacity utilization of over 90 percent.
Each of those states, except Florida, has vaccination rates below the national average of 61 percent.
Overcrowded ICUs can be deadly, even for Americans who don’t have Covid.
It was reported last week that a US military veteran had died of gallstone pancreatitis after failing to find a hospital in Texas that could treat him.
Louisiana, which currently records 89 percent of hospital capacity used, is in a particularly difficult situation.
The state, which already has a record sign in new Covid deaths last week, now has to do with Hurricane Ida slamming it on the south coast.
New Orleans, the largest city in the state, lost all electricity late sunday night, causing many hospitals that are already low on resources to scramble.
The average daily number of deaths in the country also surpassed 1,000 at the end of August, a figure not previously reached since March.
The death toll has risen 266 percent in the past month, from 354 a day on July 30 to 1,296 on August 29.
The number of cases has also doubled in the past month, from 71,663 on July 29 to 156,886 on August 29 — with the Delta variant responsible for nearly every new case in the country.