Delta variant concerning local health departments as vaccine numbers drop

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PRINCETON, WV (WVNS) — Although COVID-19 is beginning to improve in West Virginia, there are still variants to worry about.

Mercer County Health Department Director Roger Topping said compared to other variants, Delta is the most aggressive.

“The Delta variant is more serious than the other variants. In that it affects people much more quickly, it spreads much more quickly than the UK variant or any other variant as the studies have shown,” said Topping.

Topping urges West Virginians to continue getting vaccinated. Studies show those who are vaccinated can still contract COVID-19 and its variants, but the outcome is much better than those not vaccinated.

“The odds are not good. You’re gonna get it and if you get it you can spread it through your family and it can spread through the community like wildfire,” said Topping.

He said with COVID-19 we hid away the elderly and immunocompromised, but these variants do not discriminate against age.

“So far, I’ve had two, two-month-olds, one four-month-old, a two-year-old, a four-year-old and other younger people that have COVID and had the UK variant, so there’s no reason to think that the Delta will be even worse. It has the potential to be even worse for the younger kids,” said Topping.

But with the variants active and spreading, could we be on our way back to masks and social distancing? Topping said no.

“There’s very promising studies that are showing that the Pfizer and Moderna and J&J can be very effective. Some even think that we may not even have to have a booster, that this could protect us for years and years,” said Topping.

He said the need for vaccinations will stay until herd immunity can be reached with all variants and strains.
He said no matter the age, COVID-19 doesn’t care.

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