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Your Healthy Family: How you can help slow the spread of the delta variant

Posted at 11:31 AM, Aug 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-09 13:31:23-04

CLEVELAND, OHIO — The Delta variant is continuing to spread across the country and now accounts for more than 93 % of all new COVID-19 cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

So what can be done to stop this highly contagious variant?

“It’s a respiratory virus like the flu, or the common cold, or the original variant of SARS-COV-2, so it spreads through our respiratory secretions, person-to-person, so the same measures we’ve taken before to prevent respiratory illness will work here,” said Daniel Rhoads, MD, microbiologist for Cleveland Clinic.

Dr. Rhoads said it’s hard to predict where the Delta variant will go from here, which is why we need to do what we can to minimize the spread.

He strongly recommends getting vaccinated if you haven’t already. That way you and others around you are protected. And in the event you did contract COVID, your symptoms are likely to be much more mild – if you have any at all.

The vaccine can also aid in preventing future mutations from developing. Dr. Rhoads said there are already new variants emerging in other countries.

“Lambda is in South America, people are concerned about that one. There’s a whole list of emerging variants that are of interest, or concern, or on the watch list. If you go to WHO’s website, they have a whole list of them. So there’s lots of variants around, but over time, biology proves the winner and we see which one emerges as the predominant variant,” said Dr. Rhoads.

The CDC reports the Delta variant is more prevalent in areas where vaccination rates are low, so if you are planning to travel be sure to research your destination ahead of time.