COVID-19 and its Delta variant
A- The Delta Variant of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has shown its main mutation sites. It was found to be the most contagious version in the world. An illustration of the spike protein is represented in the text in ‘red” binding to a receptor on a human cell in “blue”. The scientists are agreeable to say that these variant spreads two to three times faster and represents nowadays the dominant strain encountered in the United States, as well as finding it responsible of 80% of the outbreaks.
Once an individual is infected, more copies of the virus can be rapidly discovered in the respiratory tract. It is believed that easily more than 1000 copies of the virus can be discovered in the respiratory tract. More, the patient becomes infected sooner forcing the clinicians to discover the virus 4 days after the infection compared to 6 days with the other forms. The same study was priorly performed in China on an earlier version of the virus with the same conclusion.
In United States, 99.5% of all the COVID-19 deaths as well as 97% of all hospitalized patients were traced in the unvaccinated people. The new variant Delta is all over the country, more transmissible but initial data demonstrate that it does not increase the rate of admission. In India, the delta variant was identified and caused a huge outbreak, then a drop… Similarly in Great Britain followed by a drop without a clear explanation for the decline. Since January 2021, a decline in the cases was noted even before the administration of the vaccine without changing the attitude of the Americans toward vaccination against the COVID-19. But also in April 2021, we started to observe a sharp rise in the cases affected by the Alpha variant especially in the Midwest and in Canada but not anywhere else in the US
During the Spring, the social distancing measures and masking were relaxed in states like Texas and Florida while Africa and Asia have not experienced any outbreaks similar to the one seen in South America and North America. Many questions were asked by our experts to try to explain these conditions. The Delta variant is certainly more contagious than the Alpha and appears to have a predilection for all the unvaccinated in Great Britain or in the United States allowing them to spread it better. Cases are peaking up. The Delta wave looks like it is milder in the United Kingdom than anticipated. The end of the European Soccer tournament was given as an explanation for the drop in cases, the school vacations were found responsible for the drop. Others state that the Delta virus may have spread very quickly at the beginning but the population has reached the herd immunity. We do expect more variant to appear.
B- In the USA, it was discovered that Paranoia and belief of conspiracy theory were the reason behind a poor adherence to the mask mandates. The more you show paranoia the more you found people endorsing conspiracies about mask-wearing and vaccines… like by example, the government is protecting politicians or Hollywood entertainers operating a pedophile ring nationwide, recently published in Nature Behavior… or even that the 9/11 terrorist attack was fermented by the US government (Yale University News July 2021}.
C- Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the use of “Regeneron”, an antibody cocktail to be used as a preventive therapy for unvaccinated as well as immunocompromised patients to combat COVID-19. It is not expected to mount an adequate immune response against COVID-19 and replace the vaccination but can help the one exposed in places like the nursing homes. 3% of the population may not respond to vaccination because they are receiving other medication compromising their immune system while being under treatment with Chemotherapy or receiving drugs to avoid any rejection of a transplanted organ. REGEN-COV will work in preventing infection. This drug is already used in post infection treatment. These monoclonal antibodies (Casirivimab and Imdevimab) can be given alone or in association to treat moderate cases of COVID-19 among adults or even kids over the age of 12. It is suggested to use this treatment in patients who have a positive Coronavirus test older than 65 with chronic medical conditions.
D- Recently in Atlanta, a co-owner and three of his employees become infected with CoVID-19 and since they used the slogan, if you are not vaccinated, you won’t be served. They even went on the media and announced: Until you are vaccinated, please do not enter our establishment. But in Atlanta, three bartenders, fully vaccinated were tested positive for COVID-19. Since then, all employees have been vaccinated except on who had medical complications. This story was reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution and it was said that the restaurant adopted the policy that all visitors will have to present a proof of vaccination to enter the restaurant or to wear face masks.
E- In Florida, the number of COVID-19 are rising quickly with the Delta strain. As of this week, Florida carries 20% of the cases in the country. With almost 70,000 cases a week and cases have quadrupled around 5,500 people were admitted in hospitals versus 20,000 in July 2020. The majority of the hospitalized are among the unvaccinated people and the victims are getting younger. The virus is targeting a younger crowd and unvaccinated. 60% of the 12 -year-old and older are vaccinated in the state of Florida. To-date, there are more than 19 million cases around the world and 4.10 million of deaths worldwide. There are more than 34.10 infected cases in the United States of COVID-19 more than 608,900 deaths as reported by the university of John Hopkins.
F- The state of Florida may become in a state of crisis as the state appears to become the epicenter of the pandemic while the officials are trying to find the best way to deal with the situation. More than 12,000 hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have been found in one day and as well the hospitals are filling up with 2400 patients in the intensive care units. The problem may be the “no mask” policy and the no lockdown restrictions championed by the Gov Ron DeSantis may have worsened the public health effect in the state. The Delta variant being the most contagious source of the virus is freely riding around to a point that Americans have assure that being vaccinated, has given a protection against the virus, have relaxed the guidelines. CoVID-19 testing has grown in recent days in counties where popular attractions are bringing visitors like Orlando with Disney’s world. Fewer people are dying from the virus. The Floridians are constantly reminded to get the vaccine. In August 2021, the death rate passed from 55 per day to 189 deaths a day in the state of Florida.
G- Florida is considered the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the USA. 11,515 hospitalizations due to COVID-19 was a record broken by the state. 2753 patients are in the intensive care units. It is reported that 134,506 coronavirus cases during the last week. About 19,000 infections daily. The number of children hospitalized with COVID-19 in the USA has hit a record high with more than 1900 in the hospitals. Children under the age of 12, makes up 2.4% of the hospitalizations. Patients between the age of 18 and 49 also showed a record number for hospitalization. 90% of ICU bed in the nation are occupied. Children are returning to classes and educators a talking about a possible vaccine mandate. States like Louisiana, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi and Oregon has recorded. In some states, the national guard is called to help the health workers.
H- 50% of the US population is now vaccinated. The unvaccinated remained at risk for the high transmissibility of the Delta strain of the coronavirus. Testing positivity rose to 18.5% in Florida.
The racial disparity in COVID-19 seems to be narrowing while Hispanic and black accounted for respectively to 17 and 25% of the population who have received the first dose of vaccine.
US is about to require full vaccination for foreign travelers against coronavirus. More all travelers to the Us will be required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test within 3 days of travelling. Discussions are being held with airlines and maybe implemented around labor’s day.
I- In the USA, there are more than 36.465 million cases of COVID-19 and more than 621,250 deaths while around the world, there are more than 206.95 million cases.
. Maxime Coles MD