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Delta variant sparks COVID outbreak in gym in Oklahoma



This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow) - also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19 - isolated from a patient in the United States emerging from the surface of cells (pink) that are grown in the lab.

This scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow) – also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus that causes COVID-19 – isolated from a patient in the United States emerging from the surface of cells (pink) that are grown in the lab.

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIH

A COVID-19 outbreak in a gym in Oklahoma infected 47 people in just over two weeks, including gymnasts, staff and household contacts – 40 of them unvaccinated, federal health officials report.

Only 21 of the COVID-19 cases were sequenced to determine which version of coronavirus caused them, but all of these samples were identified as the highly contagious delta variant, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published Friday.

The outbreak, which occurred between April 15 and May 3, adds to existing evidence suggesting that the delta variant has higher rates of attack than other variants of concern, meaning it can infect more people after exposure.

The attack rate among infected gymnasts and staff was 20% and 53% among their household contacts.

Forty of the infected people were unvaccinated, three were partially vaccinated with one dose completed and four fully vaccinated. Those infected ranged from 5 to 58 years, although the median age was 14.

Two unvaccinated adults required hospitalization and one required intensive care.

The Oklahoma outbreak joins two others reported this week.

In Texas, more than 125 campers and adults attending a church camp tested positive for COVID-19, where hundreds of people were likely to be exposed either in the camp or at home. A country music festival in Colorado has also led to a coronavirus outbreak that infected four employees and 13 participants.

The CDC stressed the importance of being vaccinated against COVID-19, “especially those who engage in strenuous sports with limited ability to maintain physical distance.” Data show that all available versions of the vaccine offer adequate protection against the delta variant and other variants of concern spread in the United States

New national data published this week predicted that the variant will amount to approx. 52% of the coronavirus cases analyzed in the country at the end of the two-week period ending on 3 July, officially overtake the previously dominant alpha variant, which was first found in the UK About a month ago, delta accounted for approx. . 6%.

Due to reporting delays and several disruptive variants, federal health officials say recent estimates reflect cases and hospitalization trends in different regions, especially those with low vaccination rates.

About 99.5% of coronavirus deaths in the last six months have occurred in unvaccinated people, said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky last week during a COVID-19 briefing in the White House. She called the current “suffering and loss … completely avoidable.”

An Associated Press review of government data from May also showed that breakthrough infections or those that occur in fully vaccinated people two or more weeks after receiving all their shots accounted for less than 1,200 of the more than 107,000 COVID-19 admissions – approx. . 1.1%.

And of the more than 18,000 coronavirus deaths in May, only about 150 were fully vaccinated, or approx. 0.8%.

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Katie Camero is a McClatchy National Real-Time Science reporter based in Miami. She is an alumna of Boston University and has reported for the Wall Street Journal, Science and The Boston Globe.




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