Hospitalization Risks Are Double For Delta Variant, Study Shows

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A new English study reveals that the new Delta COVID-19 variant is more dangerous as it can double the number of hospitalizations compared to the alpha variant. The delta variant is more severe, as well as more infectious. The finding, which appears in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases, comes as a confirmation of other different studies indicating that the new variant may pose a more severe risk to health even after vaccination.

Researchers analyzed more than 43,000 cases when the delta variant was not yet in full swing between March and May. While around 80% of the patients were infected with alpha and 20% with delta, the percentages were enough to help the researchers determine that delta patients were two times more likely to get hospitalized, in the case of those who were not vaccinated or just partially vaccinated.

“Our analysis highlights that in the absence of vaccination, any delta outbreaks will impose a greater burden on health care than an alpha epidemic,” explains the lead author of the study, Anne Presanis, who is a biostatistician with the University of Cambridge.

Researchers also confirm that vaccines prevent, in most cases, severe forms of the disease caused by the delta virus. Therefore the rate of hospitalization for vaccinated delta patients was much lower. In fact, it is generally rare for fully vaccinated people to need hospitalization. The findings suggest that the worldwide vaccine against the virus may still not be sufficient to protect against disease experienced by those infected with recent strains and underscore the importance of continuing to close medical gaps in infected areas.

At the moment, 99% of the COVID-19 cases in the United States are caused by the new delta variant, and hospitalization has a reached all-time records, particularly in states where the vaccination rate is low.

Susan Kowal
Susan Kowal is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor/advisor, and health enthusiast.