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COVID-19 delta variant in Ohio: What doctors want you to know – WLWT Cincinnati

Just as you and your circle are free of health restrictions and packing places once again, a variant named after the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet has the attention of the medical community.Delta is starting to dawn on us.”It is a much more aggressive variant, it is transmitted more easily, it makes people sicker,” said Dr. Carl Fichtenbaum with the Division of Infectious Diseases at the UC College of Medicine during a recent Zoom interview about the virus.There is not a lot of delta variant around here or throughout Ohio, at least not yet. But there is growing concern about it.”It is likely to have a survival advantage over the other circulating variants,” Fichtenbaum said.Doctors emphasized if you’re vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna, you are pretty well protected from delta and that two doses are better than one.They said Johnson & Johnson, also known as the Janssen vaccine, offered some effectiveness, but not as much as the other two.What they particularly stressed, however, is that the unvaccinated have the most vulnerability right now.Here’s what Dr. Stephen Feagins, Chief Clinical Officer at Mercy Health and Medical Director for the Hamilton County Health Department wants you to think about:”Those who are yet to be vaccinated are at more risk than they may think,” Feagins said. “Much more risk than we were back in March of last year or even December of last year when the vaccine first came out.”According to the CDC, a little over three weeks ago, the delta variant accounted for 2.7 percent of the new cases in this country.It’s now at 9.9 percent and climbing.People are packing the bars and restaurants again, going to ball games and health restrictions are growing distant in our rearview mirrors.”It may be that fewer people will be affected by this overall compared to when the pandemic first started. But if you’re one of those fewer people, it matters to you,” Fichtenbaum said.Viruses typically mutate.So, doctors are not surprised by the way the delta variant has shown itself in at least 80 countries, according to the World Health Organization.It recently ravaged India and has pushed Great Britain’s re-opening back a full month.”And the take-home message to me is that this is just another reminder that we really need to get everybody vaccinated,” said Dr. Robert Frenck of Children’s Hospital Medical Center.He and other doctors advise those who are not vaccinated to acquaint themselves with fact-based information about delta and treat June 2021 like it was March 2020.Hamilton County Health Director Greg Kesterman stated there are about 1,900 active cases of COVID-19 in Hamilton County right now. “So, your chances of getting COVID are still great here in any county if you’re not vaccinated and not taking precautions,” Kesterman said.The desire to be done with it is in the air everywhere as summer approaches. But that’s the human inclination.Viruses operate apart from our desires.”We’re kind of worn out,” Feagins said. “And so, while it is understandable that people just want to be out and be around, it is very important to still look around your surroundings.”There are wo things to look for, according to those with medical degrees: Distance and ventilation.Nationwide, 54 percent are fully vaccinated and 64 percent have at least one dose.This leaves well over a third of the country at risk for a more potent variant they haven’t paid much attention to yet.

Just as you and your circle are free of health restrictions and packing places once again, a variant named after the fourth letter of the Greek alphabet has the attention of the medical community.

Delta is starting to dawn on us.

“It is a much more aggressive variant, it is transmitted more easily, it makes people sicker,” said Dr. Carl Fichtenbaum with the Division of Infectious Diseases at the UC College of Medicine during a recent Zoom interview about the virus.

There is not a lot of delta variant around here or throughout Ohio, at least not yet. But there is growing concern about it.

“It is likely to have a survival advantage over the other circulating variants,” Fichtenbaum said.

Doctors emphasized if you’re vaccinated with Pfizer or Moderna, you are pretty well protected from delta and that two doses are better than one.

They said Johnson & Johnson, also known as the Janssen vaccine, offered some effectiveness, but not as much as the other two.

What they particularly stressed, however, is that the unvaccinated have the most vulnerability right now.

Here’s what Dr. Stephen Feagins, Chief Clinical Officer at Mercy Health and Medical Director for the Hamilton County Health Department wants you to think about:

“Those who are yet to be vaccinated are at more risk than they may think,” Feagins said. “Much more risk than we were back in March of last year or even December of last year when the vaccine first came out.”

According to the CDC, a little over three weeks ago, the delta variant accounted for 2.7 percent of the new cases in this country.

It’s now at 9.9 percent and climbing.

People are packing the bars and restaurants again, going to ball games and health restrictions are growing distant in our rearview mirrors.

“It may be that fewer people will be affected by this overall compared to when the pandemic first started. But if you’re one of those fewer people, it matters to you,” Fichtenbaum said.

Viruses typically mutate.

So, doctors are not surprised by the way the delta variant has shown itself in at least 80 countries, according to the World Health Organization.

It recently ravaged India and has pushed Great Britain’s re-opening back a full month.

“And the take-home message to me is that this is just another reminder that we really need to get everybody vaccinated,” said Dr. Robert Frenck of Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

He and other doctors advise those who are not vaccinated to acquaint themselves with fact-based information about delta and treat June 2021 like it was March 2020.

Hamilton County Health Director Greg Kesterman stated there are about 1,900 active cases of COVID-19 in Hamilton County right now. “So, your chances of getting COVID are still great here in any county if you’re not vaccinated and not taking precautions,” Kesterman said.

The desire to be done with it is in the air everywhere as summer approaches. But that’s the human inclination.

Viruses operate apart from our desires.

“We’re kind of worn out,” Feagins said. “And so, while it is understandable that people just want to be out and be around, it is very important to still look around your surroundings.”

There are wo things to look for, according to those with medical degrees: Distance and ventilation.

Nationwide, 54 percent are fully vaccinated and 64 percent have at least one dose.

This leaves well over a third of the country at risk for a more potent variant they haven’t paid much attention to yet.

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