An estimated 25% of the current COVID cases in Louisiana are believed to be the more dangerous Delta variant strain that first emerged in India.

State Health Officer Dr. Joe Kanter said the number of new Delta cases is doubling about every two to three weeks in Louisiana meaning we could face a new spike in overall COVID cases.

“We know it is more transmissible than the prior strands and we know that it is more virulent, meaning it is more dangerous and more likely to make people sick,” said Kanter.

The 25% share of Delta cases in Louisiana is above the national average of about 20%.

Kanter said the good news is that those who are fully vaccinated with either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine have about 90% protection from the new, more deadly strain.

“But that is not absolute and that still means about one in ten people who have been vaccinated could get sick,” said Kanter who also warned that the level of protection is drastically lower in non-fully vaccinated people. “Only one dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine gives just 33% coverage while two doses give high 80s low 90s coverage.”

19 Delta variant cases have been officially recognized in Louisiana but Kanter warned the number is much higher due to the lack of variant testing available. Louisiana is still seeing about five to ten COVID deaths per day.

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