Delta Covid-19 variant behind surge in US death toll: Amercian health experts
The Delta variant of Covid-19 is now the dominant strain worldwide and is driving a surge of deaths around the United States, almost entirely among unvaccinated people, American officials told Reuters on Friday.
"Cases of Covid-19 are up 70% over the previous week and deaths are up 26%, with most of the surge occuring in counties with below average vaccination rates," US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky said during a press briefing.
"There is a clear message that is coming through: This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated," Walensky told reporters.
More than 33,000 new cases on were recorded on Thursday, bringing the seven-day average to 23,306, a 70% rise on the week before, AFP reported.
A recent study published in the journal Virological showed that Delta variant grows faster in the body than previous strains, and that infected people excrete much more into the air, greatly increasing the possibility of transmission.
Vaccines, including those made by Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson, remain highly effective against the variant, but the United States' immunisation campaign has drastically slowed in recent weeks.
This might follow the pattern of Israel and the UK, which have high vaccination rates but still affected by delta waves.