Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) technical lead on COVID-19, said data from some countries may suggest that the delta variant causes an increased risk of hospitalization in those infected, but it isn’t necessarily killing more people than other strains, CNBC reported.
"In terms of severity, we have seen some countries suggest that there is increased risk of hospitalization for people who are infected with the delta variant. We haven’t seen that translate to increased death," said Van Kerkhove, adding that people infected with the delta variant "have not died more often than with the other strains."
"The risk factors for severe disease and death are the same," Van Kerkhove said. "If you have underlying conditions, no matter what age you are, you’re at an increased risk of hospitalization."
The delta variant also quickly overtakes all other variants wherever it’s detected, she added.
The delta variant, first detected in India in October, has spread to at least 142 countries so far. Found in the US just a few months ago, it now accounts for more than 90% of all sequenced cases, according to the CDC.
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