Variant first detected in India may increase risk of hospital admission, evade vaccines

The delta coronavirus variant, first discovered in India, is more likely to lead to hospitalizations than the alpha variant first detected in the U.K., and may more easily evade vaccination efforts, according to data cited in a Public Health England report published June 3.

Researchers examined 38,805 sequenced virus cases in England and found the delta variant was associated with a 2.61-times higher risk of hospitalization within 14 days of specimen date compared to the alpha variant. They also found a 1.67-times higher risk of needed emergency care or hospitalization within 14 days. 

Data from Scotland support the findings, reports The Guardian, though additional research still must be done.     

The delta variant is also believed to be somewhat more resistant to COVID-19 vaccines, especially after just one dose, early data suggests. 

The variant accounts for 1.3 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the U.S., according to CDC estimates through May 8. 

The World Health Organization declared the delta variant a "variant of concern" May 10, citing preliminary studies showing the variant is more transmissible than existing strains.


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