CDC: Delta becomes dominant coronavirus variant in US
The delta variant of the novel coronavirus, also known as B.1.617.2, has become the dominant strain in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ABC News reports.
Data updated by the CDC on Tuesday evening revealed that this highly contagious variant was estimated to account for 51.7% of all new cases of COVID-19 across the country as of July 3.
ABC News reports that the variant has been detected in all 50 U.S. states and now accounts for more than 50% of new cases in five of the 10 regions into which the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services divides the country. HHS Region 7 -- compromising Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska -- had the highest at 80.7%.
Health officials say the delta variant is a more infectious version of the disease, and preliminary data indicates it may increase the risk of hospitalization.
The good news for vaccinated individuals is that current evidence indicates that a full dosage of a COVID-19 vaccine is highly effective in preventing hospitalizations and serious illness.
However, the delta variant can be particularly dangerous to those who are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated against COVID-19.
Initially identified in India in October, the delta variant then began to appear in at least 98 countries around the globe, according to the World Health Organization.
It was first detected in the U.S. in March.
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