The CDC Said The Delta Variant Is As Contagious As Chickenpox. That's Not Accurate

According to the CDC, the Delta Variant is as contagious as chickenpox. This is not accurateThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) made an unexpected claim in a leaked report about the delta coronavirus variant. It was described as "as transmissible like: - Chicken Pox" in a slide presentation that was leaked to Washington Post on July 26.Chickenpox, one of the most contagious viral diseases known, is very common. The CDC reports that each person can spread the virus to up to 90% of their family members.Is the Delta variant contagious?According to Tom Wenseleers, University of Leuven evolutionary biologist and biostatician, the short answer is "No."Loading..."Yeah. I didn't find CDC's statement completely accurate," Wenseleers says. He was among the first scientists to calculate the transmission benefit of the delta and alpha variants over the original SARS-CoV2.He adds that delta is still highly transmissible. "It's probably one of the most contagious respiratory viruses that we know at the moment."Here are the reasons.Scientists often use R0 to measure the virus's transmissibility. It is the number of people that a person with a virus-like illness will infect, if the entire population is at risk."So it's virus's potential to spread, given ideal conditions, when no one is immune," Karthik Gangavarapu, a computational biologist at Scripps Research Institute, says.The flu has an R0 value of approximately two. Two people are infected by flu each time they get it. Some people infect more people than others, while others infect less. However, over time, the average number of infected people will be around two.Gangavarapu states that chickenpox is much more contagious than other forms of the disease. The R0 for chicken pox is between 9 and 10. Each person infected with chickenpox will spread it to approximately 10 others. These outbreaks can be deadly.The R0 for SARS-CoV-2 has actually increased over time as the virus evolved. Gangavarapu explains that SARS-CoV-2 was slightly more contagious when it first appeared in 2019. "The COVID-19 initial strain had an R0 of between two and three."About a year later, it began to rapidly mutate. The alpha variant was found in the U.K. and was much more transmissible that the original strain. The delta variant, which was most likely from India, emerged a few months later. It was even more easily transmissible than the alpha variant.Wenseleers states that the R0 for the delta variant is now between six and seven. It's therefore two-to three-times more contagious than the original SARS-CoV-2 (R0 = 2 - 3), but less contagious that the chickenpox virus (R0 = 9 - 10).The CDC stated that the delta variant of chickenpox was "just as transmissible" as the chickenpox.One, the leaked document underestimated R0 for chickenpox while overestimating R0 for the Delta variant. A federal official said that the R0 values for Delta were preliminary and were based on data from a small sample. The slidehow also includes the value for chickenpox and other R0s. However, the graphic was not completely accurate.The official stated that the delta variant was more transmissible than alpha variants at the end of it all. This is the message that people should take away from this. Because they weren't authorized to speak to media about this topic, the official requested anonymity.It is huge that there is a difference in an R0 of six and three. One person could infect three people with the original SARS-CoV-2 strain. Each of these people would then infect three others. After only two rounds, nine cases would be infected (3 x 3 = 9) After three rounds of transmission, cases would increase by 27 (3x3x3 = 27). The delta variant would mean that the first person infecting six people would then infect six other people, each of whom would then infect six additional people. After two rounds of transmission, the number of cases would have risen by 36 (6x6 = 36). After three rounds of transmission, cases would rise by 216 (6x6x6 = 216).Wenseleers states that delta has an R0 of six. It will be very difficult to slow it down unless there are high levels of vaccination. Even then, there will be cases that rise as in Iceland and other parts of the U.S. Even though the vaccine can stop infections with delta at less than 90%, people who have been vaccinated may still spread the virus. Wenseleers also stated that people who have not been vaccinated are at very high risk for infection. "Anyone who chooses to not get vaccinated will most likely get infected with the delta variant in the coming months."San Francisco is an example of this. Daily case levels are quickly rising towards the last winter, despite the fact that over 70% of the population has been vaccinated, according to San Francisco Department of Public Health reports.Wenseleers points to the fact that although cases of delta are likely, hospitalizations are not. "As long people get vaccinated, we won't see a huge surge in hospitalizations." Since March 18, 2020, San Francisco has seen 3,041 COVID-19-infected patients. Only 16 were fully vaccinated.