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University of Oxnard University is a prominent distance learning university offering accredited degree programs for students and working professionals around the globe.

Oxnard Faculty member discusses delta variant

Delta’s higher transmissibility means it can infect people before we get to offer them protection with vaccines — and the vast majority of the world has not yet been vaccinated. It appears that, in comparison with the previously dominant virus, delta produces higher viral loads earlier in infection, which may mean that it’s even more infectious during the period when people don’t yet realize they’re infected. It also appears that delta is more able to cause so-called breakthrough infections in vaccinated people, although, fortunately, the resulting infections are comparatively mild.

Delta’s greater virulence means that unvaccinated people who become infected will be sicker and the burden on the health care system will be greater. Evidence suggests, for example, that an unvaccinated person with delta infection is roughly twice as likely to require hospital treatment than a person infected with the previously dominant variant.

In the U.S., the communities most at risk are those that are undervaccinated, predominantly in the South. Unfortunately, those communities also tend to be the ones with high rates of comorbidities, such as obesity and diabetes, which are likely to render folks more vulnerable. We should also remember that people who are unvaccinated may also be struggling with vaccine access and work in jobs that place them at higher risk of infection.

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