UVA Health experts say delta variant still main threat right now

Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 5:59 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The omicron COVID-19 variant has been in the headlines and is now in Virginia. But the delta variant is firmly entrenched in our community, according to University of Virginia Health experts.

Right now, doctors with UVA Health say delta is the bigger threat as we head into this winter season, and we are seeing the effects from Thanksgiving now.

“Even with all this talk of omicron, we are still, right now, in the middle of delta resurgence here in Virginia and nationwide,” Dr. Costi Sifri with the UVA Health Center said.

UVA Health says there is a resurgence of the delta wave and there are clinically important infections that are hospitalized right now, which are causing concern.

“Before Thanksgiving, we were seeing hospitalizations in the low 20s,” Dr. Reid Adams with the UVA Health Center said. “We’ve seen an increase in hospitalization since the thanksgiving holidays, for instance, we’re at 36 today.”

While Delta and hospitalizations are a concern, those with the UVA Health Center say they’re fit and capable of handling it.

“We’re still having a high degree of delta circulating in the community, but but we know what to do both as individuals and institutionally,” Dr. Reid Adams said.

But on the other hand, the fear with omicron is the unknown. “We’ve really only known about omicron for two weeks, it was on Thanksgiving that it was announced,” Dr. Costi Sifri said.

We are learning more about it every day and piecing together how to handle this new variant. It may spread faster than delta, but it also may be less deadly.

“We’re now more confident saying that omicron is not likely to cause more severe disease,” Dr. Costi Sifri said. “And as we go on, over the next couple of weeks, I think we’ll get a better clarity exactly about what omicron causes comparing that to previous strains of COVID.”

Doctors say the best thing to do right now is get vaccinated and get your booster. That booster will protect you against delta, and new studies are saying it works for omicron too.

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