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WHO Says Delta COVID Variant Is Spreading Rapidly

It's now in 80 countries
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2021 3:54 PM CDT

(Newser) – The World Health Organization is out with new numbers on the delta COVID variant, and they're moving in the wrong direction. The variant, which was first identified in India, is now in more than 80 countries around the globe, reports CNBC by way of the WHO, and it's mutating as it spreads. The variant remains the dominant one in the UK currently, accounting for more than 60% of cases; the US percentage has grown from 6% of new cases to 10% in the last week. The Guardian reports the delta variant is thought to be more transmissible than the original strain and the alpha strain first seen in the UK.

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As for whether Americans should be concerned, it depends, at least according to Dr. Robert Wachter, chair of the Department of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. If you're vaccinated you should be fine after your second vaccine dose. So if numbers start to spike here and someone decides to get vaccinated as a result, it'll take them five or six weeks to be protected, he tells USA Today. CNN cites CDC stats that show as of Wednesday, 43.9% of all Americans are fully vaccinated. (Read more COVID-19 stories.)

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