Michigan officials report 32 total cases of delta COVID variant

Variant found in 8 Michigan counties

Growing concern about Delta COVID variant

DETROIT – Michigan reported on Thursday that there are now 32 cases of the delta COVID variant in eight Michigan counties.

On Tuesday, Michigan reported 25 cases of the delta variant in five Michigan counties. There is growing concern from health officials about a variant, now identified as the delta plus variant.

Read: Delta COVID variant found in 5 Michigan counties

The delta variant has the potential to cause major setbacks. With so many Michigan residents still unvaccinated and all of the children under the age of 12 still at risk. It’s important that everyone understands the pandemic isn’t over yet.

The delta variant is more contagious and severe. It has been detected in 49 states and accounts for 20% of all new infections.

“This is the most transmissible of all the variants that we’ve seen and we saw what happened in the U.K. where it overtook the entire nation. So I’m worried that’s going to happen in the U.S.,” Baylor College of Medicine Dr. Peter Hotez said.

The latest research suggests two doses of Pfizer and Moderna’s vaccines are about 88% effective against the variant. Johnson and Johnson’s vaccine is estimated to be around 60% effective but will still likely offer good protection against serious illness.

“If you’ve been vaccinated with Johnson and Johnson you should still feel very confident that if you get infected you’re not going to get particularly sick or die,” Harvard University School of Public Health Dr. Ashish Jha said.

Infectious disease experts are considering the potential benefits of giving a Pfizer or Moderna booster dose to those who received Johnson and Johnson. No decision has been made yet.

The delta variant itself is still changing. India has identified 40 cases of delta plus, a version of the variant with another mutation.

Experts believe that mutation could make it still more contagious, able to hold more tightly to the receptors in the lungs and potentially less responsive to monoclonal antibodies.

The vast majority of COVID deaths in the United States right now are in unvaccinated people. The best way to reduce the risk for everyone and to stop the spread of the variants is to get vaccinated.

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Questions about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge

About the Authors:

Dr. McGeorge can be seen on Local 4 News helping Metro Detroiters with health concerns when he isn't helping save lives in the emergency room at Henry Ford Hospital.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.