Delta variant possibly fueling ‘breakthrough’ COVID cases

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Some people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 are still testing positive for the virus. This is called a breakthrough case. But health officials say it’s still important for people to get vaccinated.

“It is the best way to protect not just yourself but everybody else,” said Dr. Roberto Colon, Chief Medical Officer of Miami Valley Hospital. “It’s a small number of the new cases that are breakthrough cases. The vast number of what we’re seeing is those who are not vaccinated and are at highest risk.

Dr. Colon and other health officials are observing that the spread of the Delta variant is increasing the number of overall infections, which in turn increases the number of breakthrough cases. Although, the percentage of breakthrough cases is a small fraction in comparison with the number of vaccinated people who do not contract COVID.

“That’s what makes [Delta] so dangerous, is it is an easier strain to pass from one person to another,” explained Dr. Colon.

Reports also show that more older people are being diagnosed with breakthrough cases. The CDC and health officials are investigating why.

“We don’t yet know if that’s because older individuals were among the first to get vaccinated or if their protections are waning a little bit faster,” said Dr. Colon.

As the scientists and doctors continue to gather information to answer these questions, Dr. Colon is encouraging continued mask wearing and safety measures, especially in large groups or places where vaccinations status may vary.

Dr. Colon says while these breakthrough cases are rare, and rarely serious…there is still a chance that shouldn’t be taken.

“Those people who are getting the breakthrough cases are in many cases asymptomatic, or have very mild illnesses; however, you’re going to have an occasional patient who does develop a more serious disease,” he said.

For more information on breakthrough cases from the CDC, click here.

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