An internal document from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) alleged the Delta variant is not just more dangerous; it spreads as relentlessly as chickenpox, the common cold, and even ebola.
The document, obtained and reported by The Washington Post on July 29, conveying previously disclosed statistics indicating that fully vaccinated people may spread the Delta strain at the same rate as unvaccinated people.
“I think people need to understand that we’re not crying wolf here. This is serious,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, confirming the existence of the file.
“It’s one of the most transmissible viruses we know about. Measles, chickenpox, this— they’re all up there,” she added.
In the study, they discovered that patients with breakthrough infections have massive virus levels in their nose and throat. In fact, as the outlet noted, the amount of virus in vaccinated and unvaccinated patients with the Delta variant was “similar.”
The revelation of such high potential of breakthrough cases caused by the variant that originated from India has prompted CDC to update its new mask guideline on Tuesday, July 27.
“The measures we need to get this under control—they’re extreme. The measures you need are extreme,” Walensky told CNN, referring to the CDC’s Tuesday guideline that disappointed many vaccinated citizens who thought they would have been spared from mask-wearing by taking the jabs.
Aside from chickenpox, the report also stated the Delta strain was much more contagious than viruses that cause MERS, SARS, Ebola, the common cold, the seasonal flu, and smallpox.
“The war has changed,” the document warned federal officials.
Likewise, the paper still urged authorities to keep stressing the public to get vaccinated, saying it was “the best defense against the variant,” which behaves almost like a different lethal virus.
As the document claimed, the reason was because the vaccines can still hinder the worse manifestation of the virus on its patients. It claimed that the vaccines could offer 10 times more protection against the risk of dying and 3 times more protection against severe illness.
“Vaccines prevent more than 90% of severe disease, but maybe less effective at preventing infection or transmission,” it reads. “Therefore, more breakthrough and more community spread despite vaccination.”
“The bottom line was that, in contrast to the other variants, vaccinated people, even if they didn’t get sick, got infected and shed virus at similar levels as unvaccinated people who got infected,” Dr. Walter Orenstein told CNN. He heads the Emory Vaccine Center and was among those who viewed the documents.
Views about encouraging citizens to get vaccinated have become conflicting among the GOP members lately as the Delta variant began to demonstrate its effect.
Most Republicans, although not opposed to the experimental vaccines, had resolved their support of personal choice regarding taking the jabs. But in recent weeks, some have changed their tone, such as Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell who candidly said people should get vaccinated or prepare for lockdowns.
On the other hand, some residents decided to omit the jabs for fear of its potential acute side effects. Even the CDC and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have confirmed can occur in a small portion of recipients.