clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Is the delta variant more severe?

The delta variant may be more severe form of COVID-19

Signs with social distancing guidelines and face mask requirements in Los Angeles
Signs with social distancing guidelines and face mask requirements are posted at an outdoor mall amid the COVID-19 pandemic in Los Angeles on June 11, 2021.
Damian Dovarganes, Associated Press

The delta variant of the novel coronavirus has been spreading across the country, creating a rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths, CNN reports. Hospitalized COVID-19 patients have mostly been among the unvaccinated.

  • So, naturally, the question becomes — is the delta variant more severe than the original variant?

Is the delta variant more severe?

The Yale School of Medicine said the severity of the delta variant remains a huge question for scientists and experts.

  • However, an early study from Scotland found that the delta variant is about twice as likely as the original strain — known as the alpha variant — to create hospitalization in unvaccinated adults.
  • There has been some other data that shows there has been no major difference between the two, according to the Yale School of Medicine.

Does delta have worse symptoms?

Symptoms appear to be similar to the alpha strain of the coronavirus, too. Experts have said fully vaccinated people often feel cold- or flu-like symptoms from the delta variant, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

  • “It seems like cough and loss of smell are less common. And headache, sore throat, runny nose, and fever are present based on the most recent surveys in the U.K., where more than 90% of the cases are due to the delta strain,” said Dr. Inci Yildirim, a Yale Medicine pediatric infectious diseases specialist.

Do vaccines stop the delta variant?

But experts suggest that being vaccinated against COVID-19 can lower your risk of severe COVID-19 by a huge margin.

  • “So, your risk is significantly lower than someone who has not been vaccinated and you are safer than you were before you got your vaccines,” Dr. Yildirim said, according to the Yale School of Medicine.