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Delta mutants that become the predominant COVID-19 strain “on the way”, according to health experts at the University of Utah


Doctors warn that new strains can spread faster and exacerbate the disease — but vaccines can control it.

(Leah Hogsten | Salt Lake Tribune) Saline Vials and Pfizer COVID19 Vaccine at Woods Cross High School Pop-up Clinic by Nomi Health, April 27, 2021.

According to experts at the University of Utah, people who have not been vaccinated with COVID-19 are more likely to be infected with the coronavirus due to the spread of the delta virus.

Stephen Goldstein, a virologist and postdoctoral fellow at the University of Utah School of Medicine, said in a briefing on Tuesday at Facebook Live that “choosing not to be vaccinated is ultimately this. It’s a choice to get a virus. “

The delta variant of the coronavirus, which first appeared in India at the end of last year, has already become the predominant strain of the virus in the United Kingdom and is becoming the predominant strain in the United States, said Dr. Sunker Swaminasan. Infectious Diseases Department, University of Utah.

Data from Swaminasan’s Utah Department of Health “suggests that it is in the process of becoming dominant in Utah, if not yet dominant.”

According to UK data, Swaminasan says that the delta mutant is about 50% more infectious and spreads much faster than early strains of coronavirus. Swaminasan also said the variant appears to be more toxic and “that is, it can cause more serious illness.”

The way to block the Delta variants emphasized by Swaminasan and Goldstein is to get vaccinated.

“Mutations occur when there is a lot of viral replication,” Swaminasan said. “If no new person is infected, the mutation will not be transmitted. Therefore, if it is continuously prevalent in the community, there are more variations.”

Swaminasan warned that in demographic groups with low immunization rates, “I think they will occur.”

Dr. Russell Vinick, Chief Medical Operations Officer at the University of Utah, gave numbers that indicate that the younger the demographic group, the fewer Utah states are vaccinated.

According to the latest Utah Health Department figures, 66% of Utah between the ages of 12 and 18, 50% between the ages of 19 and 29, 45% in their 30s, and 37% in their 40s are still vaccinated. Not vaccinated.

For older groups, that number is more promising. 28% of Utah in their 50s, 17% in their 60s, 8% in their 70s, and 12% over the age of 80 have not yet been vaccinated. For UDOH statistics.

Over the past three weeks, the seven-day rolling average for new Utah COVID-19 cases has risen from 202 per day on June 2 to 293 per day on Monday. Vinik pointed out that much of that rise is in two age groups, 25-44 and 15-24.

“If you do not plan to be vaccinated now or in the past for any reason, we recommend that you continue with non-pharmaceutical interventions. Masking, especially keeping away from crowded indoor spaces, but generally Keeps away from the crowds, “Goldstein said. “If you don’t have to do these things and want to avoid getting infected with SARS-CoV-2, especially the delta mutant, you need to be vaccinated.”


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