A British study published on Saturday concluded that people infected with the delta variant are at greater risk of hospitalization due to COVID-19 than those contaminated with the alpha variant, the type initially detected in the UK.
“Our analysis shows that if we did not have a vaccine, the epidemic associated with the delta variant would mean a heavier burden on the health system than if it was associated with the alpha variant,” said Anne Brisanis, a co-author on this published study. In The Lancet.
The delta variant, which was first identified in India, is known to be 40-60% more transmissible than the alpha variant.
There is little information about its virulence, but preliminary data collected in Scotland and Singapore indicate an increased risk of hospitalization and severe forms of COVID with this variant.
In this study, the authors analyzed data from more than 43,000 cases of COVID-19 detected in England between March 29 and May 23, when the delta variant began spreading there.
The raw analysis of the data shows no differences in hospitalization between delta sufferers (2.3%) and alpha sufferers (2.2%).
But if other factors that influence the severity of COVID-19 (age, ethnic group, vaccination status) are taken into account, the researchers calculate that the risk of hospitalization is 2.26 times greater for the delta variant.
In the period as a whole, 80% of cases correspond to the alpha variant and 20% to the delta variant, although the latter gains space as weeks go by.
Of all those infected, 74% were not vaccinated, 24% took a dose and only 1.8% had the full schedule.
Several studies have shown that vaccines maintain very high efficacy in preventing severe forms of COVID-19, even with the delta variant, as long as the patient has a full immunization schedule.
Source: Agence France-Presse
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