Study: People infected with Delta variant twice as likely to be hospitalized
Those infected with the Delta variant are twice as likely to be hospitalized as people with the Alpha strain, according to a study published in The Lancet on Friday.
By the numbers: The study evaluated more than 43,300 coronavirus cases that took place from March 29 to May 23, with approximately 74% of individuals who were unvaccinated.
- Research in India has determined that Delta is 50% more contagious.
- Of those patients, 8,682 were infected with the Delta variant and 34,656 were infected with the original strain. Of the patients with the Delta variant, 2.3% were hospitalized, compared to 2.2% of those with the original strain within 14 days of testing positive.
- 5.7% of those with Delta vs. 4.2% of those with the Alpha variant were admitted to hospitals or attended emergency care.
- Overall, "[t]his large national study found a higher hospital admission or emergency care attendance risk for patients with COVID-19 infected with the delta variant compared with the Alpha variant."
What they're saying: "Results suggest that outbreaks of the delta variant in unvaccinated populations might lead to a greater burden on health care services than the Alpha variant," the study says.
- "Getting fully vaccinated is crucial for reducing an individual’s risk of symptomatic infection with Delta," Anne Presanis, one of the study’s lead authors and a senior statistician at Cambridge, told Bloomberg.
The big picture: These findings agree with those from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which in late July determined that infection and hospitalization rates were 5 and 29 times higher, respectively, among unvaccinated people in Los Angeles County than the fully vaccinated.
- “This is becoming a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” CDC director Rochelle Walensky said in July.
Zoom out: 52% of the entire population is fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.