SAN ANGELO, Texas — According to health officials, research shows the Delta variant is well on its way to being a very contagious form of COVID-19.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Delta is one variant with specific genetic markers that have been associated with changes to receptor binding, reduced neutralization by antibodies generated against previous infection or vaccination, reduced efficacy of treatments, potential diagnostic impact, or predicted increase in transmissibility or disease severity. It was was first identified in India.
Sandra Villarreal, City of San Angelo Health Services Director, said as of Friday, no cases of the Delta variant have been reported.
"No cases of the Delta variant have been reported to the health department. That is not to say that there might not be anything out there, or maybe people have not gotten tested. But as far as us getting a report, no," Villarreal said.
When asked about the concern level among health officials, Villarreal said, "According to what we are still hearing, it's a bit more contagious and obviously yes. Especially those people that maybe have not been vaccinated. So you know, they are still at a higher risk of catching COVID. Rather it's this variant or the UK variant or any of the others. You know obviously, there is more risk to the."
With this new strain of the coronavirus, Villarreal is concerned for another wave of COVID-19.
She said the vaccine is vital and highly encouraged to help combat this virus, especially now.
"The good thing is that it appears that the vaccine. Those of us that have received the vaccine. You know, it does prove to help and is effective against these variants...We want to encourage people to get vaccinated to try to stop the spread of this variant or any of the other variants," Villarreal said.
COVID-19 vaccine appointment times are now available at the Shannon COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic. The clinic will move from the Sunset Mall location to the Shannon South campus Monday, June 28. To make an appointment, go to shannonhealth.com/covidvaccine.