There's no question that COVID-19 has changed the world. Unfortunately, despite the reality of the virus, many people may still be misinformed or confused about the best steps to take to stop the spread of the virus and keep themselves and others safe. Now, with the virus mutating into variants, it's more vital than ever that we all work together to make wise choices and stop further spread.
The Spread of COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic began with the discovery and spread of a novel coronavirus.
In reality, the "coronavirus" is an umbrella term for a family of viruses first identified in humans in 1965. According to current research, many of these viruses are passed around the animal kingdom, but only seven of these viruses currently infect people.
COVID-19 is one of them.
The COVID-19 virus spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an infected person coughs or sneezes, so it's important that you also practice respiratory etiquette (for example, by coughing into a flexed elbow). (World Health Organization)
Very few places in the world have been left untouched by the virus, with nearly 200 million confirmed cases and at least 4 million total deaths.
Though healthcare professionals and scientists have made progress fighting the virus, it has now begun to mutate.
It's a well-known fact that viruses mutate. Though many of these mutations are minor, such mutations have a far-reaching impact.
- How fast a virus spreads
- How severe a viral infection can be
- Which treatments will be most effective in fighting the virus
Understanding virus variants is critical to slowing a spread, and the coronavirus is no exception.
The Delta Variant in the US
The Delta variant of the novel coronavirus is part of a strain first identified in India. It has now spread around the world, with cases having been identified in the US, the UK, and over one hundred other countries.
The strain has mutations on the spike protein that make it easier for it to infect human cells. That means people may be more contagious if they contract the virus and more easily spread it to others. It is now the dominant strain in the U.S. (WebMD)
As a general rule, it's not possible for you to self-identify as someone suffering from the Delta variant. That's because the symptoms of this strain are similar to those of others: persistent cough, headache, fever, and sore throat. While the cough and loss of smell seem to be less common with the Delta variant, this strain is much more contagious.
While those with the original coronavirus strain may typically infect one or two others, those with the Delta variant tend to infect three or four.
That means the Delta variant is 50% more infectious.
Given this reality, it's no surprise that the Delta variant is the strain accounts for more than half of all new coronavirus infections.
Keeping Yourself Safe
Whether you've been vaccinated or not, there are steps you can take to keep yourself and others safe from the spread of the coronavirus.
- Get vaccinated
- Keep six feet of distance between yourself and others
- Avoid crowds and poorly ventilated spaces
- Keep surfaces clean and disinfected
- Wash your hands often
- Wear a mask in public
As you consider which mask is right for you, know that N95 masks provide a close fit and efficient filtration system to help protect you from airborne illnesses.
Wearing N95 masks is a good way to slow the spread of the virus and protect yourself from the Delta variant.
Here at Protect Life, we care about keeping people safe against all strains of the coronavirus, including the Delta variant.
Please contact us for more information on N95 masks.
Together, we can protect lives.