How the Delta variant upends assumptions about the coronavirus
July 26 (Reuters) – The Delta variant is the fastest, fittest and most formidable version of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 the world has encountered, and it is upending assumptions about the disease even as nations loosen restrictions and open their economies, according to virologists and epidemiologists.
Vaccine protection remains very strong against severe disease and hospitalizations caused by any version of the coronavirus, and those most at risk are still the unvaccinated, according to interviews with 10 leading COVID-19 experts.
But evidence is mounting that the Delta variant, first identified in India, is capable of infecting fully vaccinated people at a greater rate than previous versions, and concerns have been raised that they may even spread the virus, these experts said.
As a result, targeted use of masks, social distancing and other measures may again be needed even in countries with broad vaccination campaigns, several of them said.
Israel recently reinstated mask-wearing requirements indoors and requires travelers to quarantine upon arrival.