Health Congregational Nursing Ministry

The Health-Congregational Nursing Ministry of FMBC shall promote good health by providing information and education on good nutrition, proper exercise, rest, and health related activities.  Congregational Nursing consists of registered (RN) and licensed practitioner nurses (LPN) who share their skills in promoting holistic health and ministry.

DELTA VARIANT &COVID-19

Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur. Sometimes new variants emerge and disappear. Other times, new variants persist. Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in the United States and globally during this pandemic.

Viruses constantly change and become more diverse. Scientists monitor these changes, including changes to the spikes on the surface of the virus. By carefully studying viruses, scientists can learn how changes to the virus might affect how it spreads and how sick people will get from it.

If you think about a virus like a tree growing and branching out; each branch on the tree is slightly different than the others. By comparing the branches, scientists can label them according to the differences. These small differences, or variants, have been studied and identified since the beginning of the pandemic.

Getting vaccinated prevents severe illness, hospitalizations, and death. Unvaccinated people should get vaccinated and continue masking until they are fully vaccinated. With the Delta variant, this is more urgent than ever. CDC has updated based on new evidence on the Delta variant.

A newer strain of COVID-19 is causing concern as cases are rising in California and across the U.S. The Delta variant, which originated in India, began spreading more rapidly and making news around the middle of June. Now, health experts are warning of another surge of COVID-19. Here's what health experts have learned about the Delta variant:

1. Delta variant is highly contagious:

As of July 22, nearly 80% of UC Davis Health patients who tested positive for COVID-19 had the Delta variant. According to the CDC during the same week, the Delta variant accounted for more than 80% of new cases in the U.S. Health experts say it's typical for a new strain of a virus to be more contagious because it often becomes much more efficient and easily transmitted.

2. Delta variant symptoms are the same:

The symptoms of the Delta variant appear to be the same as the original version of COVID-19. However, physicians are seeing people getting sicker quicker, especially for younger people. Recent research found that the Delta variant grows more rapidly – and to much greater levels – in the respiratory tract.

Typically, vaccinated people are either asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms if they contract the Delta variant. Their symptoms are more like those of a common cold, such as cough, fever or headache, with the addition of significant loss of smell.

3. Delta variant is affecting unvaccinated people more:

Most patients hospitalized at UC Davis Medical Center are people who have not received the COVID-19 vaccine. Nationally, 97% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated, as of July 22. Vaccines are highly effective at preventing COVID-19 infection and are also effective in fighting against the Delta variant. In California and across the U.S., data shows that areas with lower vaccination rates tend to have higher COVID-19 infection rates. Health experts urge that COVID-19 vaccines work to prevent severe disease, which may be fatal. 

4. Breakthrough cases for vaccinated people are rare, but do happen:

When a vaccinated person tests positive for COVID-19, most either have no symptoms or have very mild symptoms, and it rarely results in hospitalization or death. Their symptoms are more like those of a common cold, such as cough, fever or headache, with the addition of significant loss of smell.

As of July 22, there were 65,000 breakthrough cases (or people who are vaccinated but got COVID-19) among the 160 million people who are fully vaccinated. That's 0.04% of vaccinated people reporting breakthrough cases. No vaccine is 100% effective. With the COVID-19 vaccines averaging about 90% efficacy, health experts expect about 10% of those vaccinated could be infected.

5. Delta variant could be catastrophic is some communities:

In communities with lower vaccination rates, particularly rural areas with limited access to care, the Delta variant could be even more damaging. This is already being seen around the world in poorer countries where the COVID-19 vaccine isn't as accessible. Health experts say the impact could be felt for decades to come.

6. Many unvaccinated patients with COVID-19 wish they had gotten the vaccine:

UC Davis Health physicians have noted that a number of younger patients, when they come in with critical illness, say that they wish they would have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine. Many patients have told their physicians, "Why did I not get the vaccine?" or "Why did I not listen?"

7. Some experts are recommending to wear masks, even if you're fully vaccinated:

Many health experts across the country are wearing masks themselves even though they're fully vaccinated against COVID-19. They're also advising vaccinated people to avoid large gatherings and mask up indoors where the vaccination status of other people is unknown.

8. More COVID-19 variants are likely to come:

The Delta variant is currently the most prominent strain of COVID-19, but the Lambda variant out of South America is also emerging. Health experts urge that if people want to get back to normal, a significant portion of the population needs to be vaccinated. As long as a chunk of people across the world are unvaccinated, new strains of the virus will continue to develop and cause problems.

What we Know:

  • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective at preventing COVID-19, including severe illness and death.

  • COVID-19 vaccines are effective against severe disease and death from variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 currently circulating in the United States, including the Delta variant.

  • Infections happen in only a small proportion of people who are fully vaccinated, even with the Delta variant. When these infections occur among vaccinated people, they tend to be mild.

  • If you are fully vaccinated and become infected with the Delta variant, you can spread the virus to others.

  • People with weakened immune systems, including people who take immunosuppressive medications, may not be protected even if fully vaccinated.

 

To find out more about the Delate Variant and COVID-19, please visit the below websites.

References:

Delta variant: 8 things you should know | Coronavirus | UC Davis Health

When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated | CDC

Audrey Kizzie,

Health Congregational Nursing Ministry Coordinator