California has now recorded its third coronavirus strain, the Delta variant, which has been observed to be much more transmissible than all previous variants of the COVID-19 virus and is expected to be the dominant strain in the region.
About 14.5% of all confirmed coronavirus cases in California in June have been analyzed to be the Delta variant, a spike from the 4.7% recorded cases in May.
Deadly Delta Variant
Health officials classified the deadly strain to be the fourth-most identified variant in the state at the time, based on data released by the California Department of Public Health.
Health experts believe the Delta variant is the most transmissible strain of the COVID-19 virus, which is a much greater risk for people who have not yet received their vaccine shots.
It is believed that the Delta strain, which was first identified in India, is two times more transmissible than the original virus. Indian officials reported the recent surge of cases in the country was mainly due to the new variant, similar to the UK and other regions.
However, officials also noted that vaccinated residents have protection against the new variant, resulting in less risk to their health and lives as well as towards other people, especially unvaccinated residents.
A recent study discovered that Pfizer’s full two-dose vaccine was 88% effective in preventing infection by the new Delta variant and 96% effective in preventing hospitalizations, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Health experts have not yet reached a general consensus on whether or not the Delta variant causes more severe symptoms compared to the other strains of the virus.
The rise in the number of cases caused by the Delta strain comes as the Alpha variant, which was first discovered in the United Kingdom, may have reached its peak.