The Department of Health (DOH) has called on the public to be extra cautious as the Delta variant of the coronavirus is “highly transmissible.”
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said that the Delta variant carries at least 1,000 times more virus as compared to the other variants of concern.
“Itong Delta variant na ito ay napaka infectious. Ibig sabihin madali po siyang makapanghawa dahil ang isang tao na meron nitong variant ay isang libo mahigit compared to the other variants of concern ang kanyang viral load (This Delta variant is very infectious. This means that it can easily infect— because a person who carries this variant has 1,000 more viral load than the other variants of concern),” she said on Saturday, July 31.
Vergeire also agreed with the international reports, saying that the Delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox, a highly contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus (VZV).
“Yung sinasabing parang chickenpox siya…Opo, itong Delta variant ay highly transmissible. Maari tayong magkaroon ng fleeting moment lang at kayo ay pwede ng mahawa (Regarding reports that it looks like chickenpox… Yes, this Delta variant is highly transmissible. With just a fleeting moment, you can be infected),” she said.
Based on a Reuters report, “the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has described the Delta variant of the coronavirus as being as transmissible as chickenpox and cautioned it could cause severe disease.”
“The CDC report said Delta is highly contagious, likely more severe than other variants and breakthrough infections may be as transmissible as unvaccinated cases,” Reuters added.
Importance of vaccination
Despite this new development in the Delta variant, “the CDC’s figures show that the vaccines are highly effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalisation and death,” Reuters said.
Vergeire said that “most of those who are affected by the Delta variant are not vaccinated.”
She encouraged all eligible Filipinos to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“The vaccines that we have currently have in the country, all of these can protect you from severe disease and hospitalization,” she said.