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New CDC guidance says Delta variant is as transmissible as chickenpox

new cdc on transmissibility
new cdc on transmissibility(Credit: Rob Masson)
Published: Jul. 30, 2021 at 7:24 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 30, 2021 at 8:08 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Local doctors are expressing concern over new internal documents released by the CDC on the transmissibility of the Delta variant.

The head of the CDC described the new data as sobering.

For the first time, the new information from the CDC spells out that the Delta variant is as transmissible, but more dangerous than chickenpox, with each infected person on average infecting eight or nine others.

“This is the first time that the CDC or anyone else has clarified the Delta variant can be transmitted with that level of infection and sickness from one person to many other people,” said Dr. Benjamin Springgate with LSU Health.

The CDC also says that if vaccinated and people get infected, they may have as much virus in their bodies as unvaccinated people and they are just as likely to infect someone else, as those who are not vaccinated.

“It’s much more contagious than the common cold. It’s about as contagious as chickenpox, which is a very contagious virus,” said CNN Medical Analyst Dr. Jonathan Reiner.

Despite those findings, the CDC report says that vaccines reduce the risk of severe disease or death tenfold and reduce the risk of infection threefold.

“We want to make sure that everyone realizes that this requires their immediate attention. This is significant and worrisome and we need to take action now including getting vaccinated, wearing masks and limiting contact with people who are potentially unvaccinated,” said Dr. Springgate.

In spite of rising Delta positivity numbers, and this new CDC information, events like this weekend’s NOLA monster truck show at the Superdome are moving forward, and the experts urge participants to be careful.

“With large numbers of people potentially coming together in the middle of an outbreak, many could be infected with something like the Delta variant...that is worrisome,” said Springgate.

Doctors insist the coronavirus vaccines are safe and effective and they say now is the time to get the shot.

“If people are not infected, the new strains can’t develop and we need to take this seriously. We don’t want the Delta plus plus plus variant to be the next one to come along that’s even worse than this one,” said Springgate.

The new CDC report has US health officials considering new advice on how to fight coronavirus. They are now considering ‘requiring’ vaccines for doctors and other healthcare providers. And they are repeating their previous recommendation, that everyone wear a mask in indoor public settings, in areas of substantial and high transmission.

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