According to a study published Friday in The Lancet, patients with the delta variant of COVID-19 were two times more likely to be admitted to the hospital compared to those who contracted the alpha variant. The study suggests that patients with delta have a much higher chance of being admitted to the hospital and are at increased risk of developing complications.
The study was conducted during March and May this year, back when the delta variant was not the dominant one. The researchers evaluated more than 34,600 patients infected with the original strain and more than 8,600 infected with delta. It is also worth noting that 74% of the total patients were not vaccinated. The findings revealed that those infected with the delta variant were twice as likely to get hospitalized and had a 1.45 greater risk of needing emergency care. This study is not the first one that links the delta variant with an increased risk of hospitalization, and back in June, Scottish research reached the same conclusion.
“Our analysis highlights that in the absence of vaccination, any delta outbreaks will impose a greater burden on healthcare than an alpha epidemic. Getting fully vaccinated is crucial for reducing an individual’s risk of symptomatic infection with delta,” explained Anna Presanis, one of the study’s authors.
Experts are warning patients and doctors to be on the lookout for the new strain of Coronavirus because it may cause more severe illness — possibly even death — even for people who have been vaccinated. Vaccination rates remain low in some states, owing largely to hesitancy among the population. The delta variant is the dominant one in the United States at the moment, accounting for almost 99% of all COVID-19 infections.