The COVID-19 headlines are scary and you are right to be scared—the Delta variant is more transmissible than any before it, and is a danger for vaccinated people (who can get seriously ill) and unvaccinated people (who can spread it, sometimes unwittingly, to vulnerable people). Extremely concerned, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN to sound a warning. Read on for five life-saving pieces of advice—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You Have “Long” COVID and May Not Even Know It.
“If you look at what we’re asking the vaccine to do, it’s just fundamentally to protect you against serious illness. The vaccines perform quite well against Delta. However,” said Dr. Fauci, “since Delta has the capability of transmitting much more efficiently than the previous variants that we had to deal with. And the reason for that is that it replicates extremely well, it transmits well, and when you look in the nasopharynx, which is the vehicle for transmission, from one person to another, that the level of virus in the nasopharynx is considerably higher with the Delta variant than it was formerly with the others. So it transmits better.”
“Even though you were vaccinated, when you are in a public place, in an area of the country that has a high degree of virus, such as in the red and orange zones, you should still wear a mask indoors because of the concern about getting infected,” said Dr. Fauci, “maybe even not even knowing you’re infected and then transmitting it to a vulnerable person who might be in your own home, your children, or a vulnerable relative, or a friend who’s on cancer chemotherapy. I know that sounds confusing, but that’s what’s happened. What’s changed for us is the virus has changed. We went from a virus that was formidable, but didn’t transmit nearly as well as the virus we’re dealing with today. And that’s the Delta variant.”
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To determine if you live in an area of high or substantial COVID transmission, “the easiest thing to do is to go on the CDC website and they have a tracker and you could see red around, but some people might not have the access to that. I might not really want to do it, but in general, when guidelines change, they change because the virus dynamics is changing. And that’s the thing that people need to understand that the CDC recommendations were changed because we were dealing with a much different virus.” Here is the CDC map.
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Dr. Fauci said it is “entirely conceivable” that we will need boosters for the vaccines. “What we do is you follow it in real time. And when you get below a certain threshold that triggers a recommendation to get a booster, I might add frayed. It’s a little bit different for people who are immunocompromised, people who are transplant people on cancer, chemotherapy, people who have immune mediated diseases that require immunosuppression. We know for sure that they never did get an adequate response. So we need to look at them in a different light than the durability for a normal person, which means that we will almost certainly be boosting those people before we boost the general population that’s been vaccinated. And we should be doing that reasonably soon. I believe.”
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Get vaccinated ASAP; if you live in an area with low vaccination rates, wear an N95 face mask, don’t travel, social distance, avoid large crowds, don’t go indoors with people you’re not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.