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COVID-19 Delta Variant: How Contagious Is It?

COVID-19 Delta Variant

Scientists believe that the COVID-19 Delta variant is the most contagious variant yet. The Delta variant is now responsible for approximately 90% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. It drove record-breaking surges in India and is now the dominant strain for COVID-19 infections across the globe. The virus is growing, and so is its ability to get around the body’s immune defenses.

The World Health Organization (WHO) began monitoring the COVID-19 virus in January 2020. The variants had not arose or been publicly discussed at the beginning of the pandemic (though some speculated and correctly predicted). The WHO called these variants by the changes in their genetic sequences and are now identified by the letters of the Greek alphabet; the first four variants are called Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta. These Variants of Concern (VOC) make the world population more at risk of increased sickness, fatality, and/or decreased vaccine effectiveness.

How Do Viruses Mutate and Create Variants?

A virus infects human cells and makes more copies of itself the longer that it exists–this is a virus’s purpose. The virus then continually creates copy errors, which are also known as mutations. These new characteristics change how the virus infects people and animals, causing more severe disease, becoming more contagious or even resistant to vaccines. The surface of the virus looks different than the original version when mutations happen, ultimately making it detectable for scientists to discover. This is exactly why yearly vaccinations are needed for the flu because influenza viruses are continually changing.

What are Viral Loads?

A viral load is a measurement of how many viruses are currently in the body of an infected person and also how contagious a virus is. Scientists test for viral loads in COVID-19 by swabbing an infected person’s nose and throat. People with a high viral load are more likely to infect others with the virus. People who are infected with the Delta variant of COVID-19 have viral loads approximately 1,000 times higher than those who were infected with the initial strain. Research studies are suggesting that people infected with the Delta variant also reach their peak viral load faster. This makes it easier for the infection to spread, even before people begin having symptoms.

Protecting Yourself Against the COVID-19 Delta Variant

Because the Delta variant is so contagious, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recently revised its recommendations for wearing masks in public spaces. All Americans should resume wearing masks in indoor public spaces in regions where COVID-19 is spreading rapidly. This recommendation includes people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. All people who are immunocompromised or live with vulnerable household members should wear masks in indoor spaces. The CDC also recommended that all students, teachers and staff at K-12 schools wear masks whether or not they are vaccinated.


People need to have plenty of face masks to protect themselves and prevent spreading the COVID-19 Delta variant. DiaMedical USA has a wide variety of face masks ready to ship. 3-ply and KN95 face masks are in stock for adults and smaller-sized pediatric 3-ply masks for children. NIOSH-approved N95 masks are in stock for healthcare professionals. Disinfectant cleaners, gloves and touch-free thermometers are also ready to ship. Please visit the DiaMedical USA Infection Control page to see all of the products that are available. DiaMedical USA is working hard to provide customers with all of the resources to fight the spread of COVID-19 infection. For more information, reach out to a DiaMedical USA expert at 877-593-6011 or info@diamedicalusa.com.