MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – The Delta variant in Shelby County has affected virtually all demographics, including vaccinated humans.
Doctors say they see more vaccinated people being admitted to hospitals with COVID-19, but they are still encouraging people to get the vaccine.
In Shelby County, more than 140 cases were reported between Thursday and Friday. A week ago, we were averaging 26 cases a day.
Some vaccinated people have been sick enough to be hospitalized, but doctors say about 90 percent of the hospital population with COVID-1
“It is clear that the number of hospitals has tripled in the last two to three weeks,” said infectious specialists Dr. Steve Threlkeld.
Shelby County has reported 58 Delta cases with the expectation that the number will grow rapidly. The local reproduction rate is now 1.22 and we have an average of 80 COVID-19 cases per day.
About 90 people are being hospitalized in Shelby County for the virus.
“There are just many more cases left because of this infection,” Threlkeld said. “When that happens, you will see a few people at higher risk getting sick, and even some people that you have not calculated have high risk. We had a lot of young people admitted to the hospital. ”
Threlkeld has also seen several vaccinated people being admitted with COVID-19.
“We have probably seen more vaccinated people hospitalized in the last week or two than we have ever cumulatively before,” he said. “There have even been a few deaths. Some of these people are immunosuppressed, so no doubt they are not vaccinated or protected in the same way that those with a normal immune system would be protected. ”
The Shelby County Health Department said there have been 246 breakthrough cases or cases within fully vaccinated people. Eight have involved the Delta variant. Nearly 400,000 people in Shelby County have been vaccinated.
Threlkeld said the Delta variant has shown some resistance to available vaccine, but with a 90-95 percent protection against serious illness, he still sees it as the best protection.
“It’s not to take the plunge and say the vaccine just did no good,” Threlkeld said. “We still have cases and we are still spreading the virus. They are still at much lower prices. You are still protected from being vaccinated and you are much less likely to transmit it to others. ”
The Delta variant affects the entire Mid-South.
There are now 150 Delta variant cases in Mississippi. Mississippi health officials call the growing number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations alarming.
They are taking an unlikely step for states since the vaccine was introduced, and issued a new recommendation urging those 65 and older and the immune system to avoid lots of indoor gatherings until July 26th.
“Because we see this confluence of risks, and because our collective under-vaccination in the state has put us all at risk, especially the most vulnerable,” said Mississippi Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs.
Arkansas sees the most admissions since a vaccine was introduced.
“I still think we have a lot of people in the area who are unvaccinated and want to be COVID,” said Dr. Aaron Mitchell at Mitchell Family Medicine in Marion.
Mitchell said he expects cases to rise in Crittenden County. He sees eruptions in popular summer activities.
“We know it will spread quickly, especially when people return to normal as they go to family gatherings, July 4 events, summer camps,” Mitchell said. “We’ve seen a lot of kids come home from summer camps with COVID.”
Mitchell also encourages the vaccine.
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