WVXU: COVID-19 cases rising due to the Delta variant

UC infectious disease expert says the variant is concerning

With vaccination rates flat and COVID-19 cases rising, due in large part to the more transmissible Delta variant, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering changing its guidance on masks for people who are vaccinated. New cases of COVID-19 have doubled over the last two weeks, and surges are concentrated in areas where vaccinations remain low.

Carl Fichtenbaum, MD, of the UC College of Medicine Division of Infectious Diseases, was interviewed about the Delta variant for WVXU's Cincinnati Edition. 

"The concerning part with this Delta variant is that it’s 50% more contagious, it spreads much more easily," says Fichtenbaum. "It spreads particularly among younger people less than 40 years of age. Also we’re finding that people can get sicker with this particular variant when you compare this variant to the original virus that came and was first discovered first in Wuhan, China."

Carl Fichtenbaum, MD, of the Divsion of Infectious Diseases at the UC College of Medicine

Carl Fichtenbaum, MD, of the Divsion of Infectious Diseases at the UC College of Medicine/Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

When asked if fully vaccinated people need to consider wearing masks again, Fichtenbaum said his short answer was "yes."

"I think what we’re trying to do here is protect ourselves and protect the community and the fewer people that become infected, the less the chance that we can pass this around and around and around again throughout the community," he said. "And so while you are vaccinated and I am vaccinated, I don’t think we are 100% protected from being infected."

Listen to the entire interview here

Fichtenbaum was also interviewed about the latest on COVID-19 and the Delta variant for Simply Medicine on 55KRC. 

Listen to that interview here

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