According to a new study from the journal Nature, people with the Delta variant can transmit the virus for almost 2 days before experiencing any symp-toms. Presymptomatic transmission may account for nearly 75 percent of Delta variant infections.
Vacci-nated people with rare “breakthrough” infections may also be able to transmit the virus as easily as unvaccinated people because of elevated viral loads.
Experts contend that vaccines remain our best avail-able tools to control the spread of COVID-19 and protect people from serious disease, hospitalization, and death.
People with the Delta variant of the coronavirus may be able to transmit the virus for nearly 2 days before having symptoms.
This change could be a key feature driving the most recent surge in COVID-19 cases, a new study-Trusted Source in the journal Nature suggests.
Pre-symptomatic transmission was a feature of previous coronavirus variants, but the research suggests the gap between receiving a positive test to feeling sys-tems was just 0.8 days. With the Delta variant, it’s 1.8 days.
As a result, nearly three-quarters of infections with Delta happen during the presymptomatic phase, the research suggests.
“The Delta strain is more conta-gious, in part, because infected individuals carry and shed more virus than previous versions,” said Dr. Stefen Ammon, medical director of the COVID-19 Task Force for DispatchHealth, an on-demand healthcare service.
“While the earlier version of COVID-19 was as transmissible as the common cold, the Delta variant is more transmissible than seasonal influenza, polio, smallpox, Ebola, and the bird flu, and is as conta-gious as chickenpox,” he added.
Vaccines still effective, but spread is a concern Because of this increased transmissibility, Delta has become the dominant variant worldwide. It accounts for more than 90 percent of COVID-19 cases in the United States.
And while vaccines are still ex-tremely effective at preventing hospitalization and death from COVID-19, studies are showing that vaccinated people who contract the coronavirus, so-called “breakthrough infections,” may have viral loads as high as those among unvaccinated indi-viduals, meaning they can transmit the infection.
“When COVID-19 vaccines first became available, they demonstrated a great ability to prevent the re-cipient from contracting any form of COVID-19, which largely removed vaccinated asymptomatic.