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Coronavirus Variant Concerns

Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in the state are increasing. Medical officials say they worry about the possibility of another surge.

Posted: Jul 14, 2021 8:10 PM

LAFAYETTE - Louisiana's Coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are on the rise and health officials are now concerned about the possibility of yet another surge.

Ochsner University Hospital and Clinic is just one of a few hospitals in Lafayette that is having a spike in hosptalizations due to the coronavirus. Alpha, Beta, Gamma and now the most recent and contagious variant, Delta.

"Delta is definitley spreading a lot quicker, so when you have an exposure it can spread a lot faster." said Hebert

Other Covid variants could be transmitted from person to person in 15 minutes, Delta takes just two to three seconds - but with the spike in cases how do we know which variant we have?

"Assume that you have Delta because that is the predominent strain. As of a week ago it was 60% of the strains that are sampled and that's just going to grow."

Doctor Britini Hebert of Lafayette Internal Medicine and Clinic says Delta is a risk to everyone which is why residents like Melissa Sanchez whose immunocompromised got vaccinated.

"I've been a cancer patient, i had stage two breast cancer in 2019. june i was in my first year of remission and it;s very important to get vaccinated." said Sanchez

Louisiana has one of the lowest vaccination rates in our country with only 35.8% of Louisianians fully vaccinated. Now keep in mind that's only 0.3% higher in comparison to last weeks vaccination rates."

Now with Delta, getting vaccinated cannot guarantee you from transmission but ...

"It seems to be very effective at still at keeping you out of the hospital or off of a ventilator, we are seeing enough infections post vaccines now that are still seeing some people end up in the hospital or on a ventilator or die after thier vaccine." said Hebert

For those already fully vaccinated you are protected against the bad effects from Delta like Linda Meche who got vaccinated after being seprated from her grankids for nine months.

"You know you're not scared like you were before, now since I'm vaccinated, husband's vaccinated and you know were over 70 and you have to get vaccinated." said Meche

Right now in order to avoid another surge people will need to get vaccinated. If they don't, in just a couple of weeks Louisiana could go from 60% of it's residents having the Delta strain to 80 to 90%.

Dr. Hebert says the easiest way for us to help slow the surge is to simply wear our mask and socially distance ourselves.

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