CDC: “War Has Changed” as Delta Variant Dangers Emerge

CDC: “La guerra ha cambiado” a medida que surgen los peligros de la variante delta

New evidence showing the Delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox and may be more dangerous than other versions has prompted U.S. health officials to consider changing advice on how the nation fights the coronavirus, internal documents show.
Recommending masks for everyone and requiring vaccines for doctors and other health workers are among measures the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is considering, according to internal documents obtained by the Washington Post.
The documents appear to be talking points for CDC staff to use in explaining the dangers of the Delta variant and “breakthrough” infections that can occur after vaccination. Noted under communications: “Acknowledge the war has changed.”
In recommending that vaccinated people resume wearing masks indoors in virus hot spots, the CDC said that new evidence shows that breakthrough infections may be as transmissible as those in unvaccinated people. They cited a large recent outbreak among vaccinated individuals in the Cape Cod town of Provincetown, Massachusetts, among others, for the change.
As the documents note, COVID-19 vaccines are still highly effective at preventing serious illness and death. The CDC has always expected some breakthrough infections but has struggled with how to explain them to the public.
The documents point out that the Delta variant, first detected in India, causes infections that are more contagious than the common cold, flu, smallpox, and Ebola virus, and is as infectious as the highly contagious chickenpox.
The internal documents also cite studies from Canada, Singapore and Scotland showing that the Delta variant may pose a greater risk for hospitalization, intensive care treatment and death than the alpha variant, first detected in the United Kingdom.
Since January, people who got infected after vaccination make up an increasing portion of hospitalizations and in-hospital deaths among COVID-19 patients, according to the documents. That trend coincides with the spread of the Delta variant.
But the CDC emphasizes that breakthrough infections are still uncommon.


Nueva evidencia que indica que la variante delta del coronavirus es tan contagiosa como la varicela y pudiera ser más peligrosa que las otras variantes ha llevado a las autoridades de salud de Estados Unidos a ponderar cambios en las recomendaciones sobre cómo el país combate la pandemia, de acuerdo con documentos internos.
Recomendar el uso de mascarillas para todos y requerir vacunas para médicos y otros trabajadores de salud están entre las medidas que consideran los Centros para el Control y la Prevención de Enfermedades, de acuerdo con los documentos obtenidos por el diario Washington Post.
Los documentos parecen ser temas de conversación para que el personal de los CDC los utilice para explicar los peligros de la variante delta y de las infecciones posvacunación. Anotada en una sección está la frase: “Reconocer que la guerra ha cambiado”.
Al recomendar que las personas vacunadas vuelvan a usar mascarillas en interiores en áreas de alto nivel de infecciones, los CDC dijeron que una nueva evidencia muestra que las infecciones posvacuna pudieran ser tan contagiosas como las de las personas no vacunadas. La agencia señaló un brote grande reciente entre personas vacunadas en Cape Cod, Massachusetts, entre otros, como razón para el cambio.
Como lo indican los documentos, las vacunas contra el COVID-19 son muy eficaces para prevenir una enfermedad severa y la muerte. Los CDC siempre esperaron algunas infecciones posvacuna, pero tuvieron dificultades para determinar cómo explicarlo al púbico.
Los documentos apuntan que la variante delta, detectada inicialmente en India, causa infecciones más contagiosas que el resfriado común, la viruela y el ébola, y es tan contagiosa como la varicela.
Los documentos internos citan estudios en Canadá, Singapur y Escocia que muestran que la variante delta pudiera representar un mayor riesgo de hospitalización, cuidados intensivos y muerte que la variante alfa, detectada inicialmente en Gran Bretaña.
Desde enero, las personas que se infectaron después de ser vacunadas representan una porción creciente de las hospitalizaciones y las muertes en hospitales entre los pacientes con COVID-19, de acuerdo con los documentos. Esa tendencia coincide con la diseminación de la variante delta.
Pero los CDC enfatizaron que las infecciones posvacuna siguen siendo poco comunes.

The Associated Press

Fauci: More “Pain and Suffering” Ahead as COVID Cases Rise
WASHINGTON (AP) — Dr. Anthony Fauci warned on Sunday, August 1, that more “pain and suffering” is on the horizon as COVID-19 cases climb again and officials plead with unvaccinated Americans to get their shots.
Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, also said he doesn’t foresee additional lockdowns in the U.S. because he believes enough people are vaccinated to avoid a recurrence of last winter. However, he said not enough are inoculated to “crush the outbreak” at this point.
Fauci’s warning comes days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed course to recommend that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the delta variant is fueling infection surges. With the switch, federal health officials have cited studies showing vaccinated people can spread the virus to others.
Most new infections in the U.S. continue to be among unvaccinated people. So-called breakthrough infections can occur in vaccinated people, and though the vast majority of those cause mild or no symptoms, the research shows they can carry about the same amount of the coronavirus as those who did not get the shots.
“So, we’re looking, not, I believe, to lockdown, but we’re looking to some pain and suffering in the future because we’re seeing the cases go up, which is the reason why we keep saying over and over again, the solution to this is get vaccinated and this would not be happening,” Fauci said on ABC’s “This Week.”
According to data through July 30 from Johns Hopkins University, the seven-day rolling average for daily new cases in the U.S. rose from 30,887 on July 16 to 77,827 on July 30. The seven-day rolling average for the country’s daily new deaths rose over the same period from 253 on July 16 to 358 on July 30, though death reports generally lag weeks after infections and even longer after hospitalizations.
Currently, 58% of Americans 12 years and older are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC’s data tracker.
However, people are “getting the message” and more are rolling up their sleeves amid the threat of the delta variant, according to the director of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Francis Collins said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that vaccinations are up 56% in the U.S. in the last two weeks.
Louisiana, which has the most new cases per capita among states in the past 14 days, has seen vaccinations up threefold over that period, Collins said.
“That’s what desperately needs to happen if we are going to get this delta variant put back in its place, because right now it’s having a pretty big party in the middle of the country,” Collins said.
Collins also said that even with the prevalence of the delta variant, the shots are working “extremely well” and reduce a person’s risk of serious illness and hospitalization “25-fold.” The guidance for vaccinated people to start wearing masks indoors again in certain places with worsening outbreaks, he said, is mostly meant to protect unvaccinated and immunocompromised people.
The CDC has also recommended indoor mask-wearing for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors at schools nationwide, regardless of vaccination status.


Fauci: More “Pain and Suffering” Ahead as COVID Cases Rise
WASHINGTON (AP) — El máximo experto en enfermedades infecciosas de Estados Unidos advirtió el domingo, 1 de agosto, que habrá “dolor y sufrimiento en el futuro” si los casos de coronavirus continúan aumentando.
El Dr. Anthony Fauci, en declaraciones al programa “This Week” de la cadena ABC, aclaró que no cree que habrá más órdenes de confinamiento obligatorio, pero advirtió que la situación en torno al virus empeorará si tanta gente sigue negándose a vacunarse.
Apenas un 60% de la población está totalmente inoculada en momentos en que la contagiosa variante delta está provocando más infecciones.
Fauci advirtió que los no vacunados están afectando a todos los demás porque “están permitiendo la propagación” de la enfermedad, y condenó a quienes insisten en que la decisión de vacunarse es un tema de libertad personal.
Los que no se vacunan, señaló Fauci, están “pisoteando los derechos” de los demás al “hacerlos más vulnerables”.

The U.S. Hits 70% Vaccination Rate — A Month Late, Amid a Surge
The U.S. on Monday, August 2, finally reached President Joe Biden’s goal of getting at least one COVID-19 shot into 70% of American adults — a month late and amid a fierce surge by the Delta variant that is swamping hospitals and leading to new mask rules and mandatory vaccinations around the country.
In a major retreat in the Deep South, Louisiana ordered nearly everyone, vaccinated or not, to wear masks again in all indoor public settings, including schools and colleges. And other cities and states likewise moved to reinstate precautions to counter a crisis blamed on the fast-spreading variant and stubborn resistance to getting the vaccine.
“As quickly as we can discharge them, they’re coming in and they’re coming in very sick. We started seeing entire families come down,” lamented Dr. Sergio Segarra, chief medical officer of Baptist Hospital Miami. The Florida medical-center chain reported an increase of over 140% in the past two weeks in the number of people now hospitalized with the virus.
Biden had set a vaccination goal of 70% by the Fourth of July. That figure was the low end of initial government estimates for what would be necessary to achieve herd immunity in the U.S. But that has been rendered insufficient by the highly contagious delta variant, which has enabled the virus to come storming back.
There was no celebration at the White House on Monday, nor a setting of a new target, as the administration instead struggles to overcome skepticism and outright hostility to the vaccine, especially in the South and other rural and conservative areas.


EE.UU. alcanza el 70% de vacunados en medio de un nuevo repunte de COVID
Estados Unidos finalmente alcanzó el lunes, 2 de agosto, el objetivo del presidente Joe Biden de que el 70% de los adultos tuvieran al menos una dosis de la vacuna contra el COVID-19, aunque con un mes de retraso y en medio de una fuerte propagación de la variante delta que está abrumando a los hospitales y obligando a emitir nuevas normas sobre el uso de mascarillas y vacunación obligatoria en distintas partes del país.
En un cambio de estrategia notable en el sureste, Louisiana ordenó que casi todos sus residentes, vacunados o no, vuelvan a portar mascarillas en todos los espacios públicos cerrados, incluidas escuelas y universidades. Y otras ciudades y estados también reimpusieron medidas de precaución para contrarrestar una crisis atribuida a la variante de rápida propagación y a la renuencia de algunos estadounidenses a vacunarse.
“Con la misma rapidez con la que podemos darlos de alta están ingresando, y están ingresando muy enfermos. Empezamos a ver a familias enteras enfermarse”, se lamentó el Dr. Sergio Segarra, director médico del Baptist Hospital de Miami. La cadena de centros médicos de Florida reportó un incremento de más del 140% en las últimas dos semanas en el número de personas hospitalizadas con el virus.
Biden había fijado el objetivo de alcanzar el umbral del 70% de adultos con al menos una dosis de la vacuna para el 4 de Julio. Esa cifra era el mínimo en los cálculos iniciales del gobierno de lo que sería necesario para alcanzar la inmunidad colectiva en Estados Unidos. Pero eso se tornó insuficiente tras la llegada de la variante delta, la cual le permitió al virus resurgir.
No hubo celebración en la Casa Blanca el lunes, ni se estableció un nuevo objetivo. Más bien el gobierno lucha para superar el escepticismo y la hostilidad hacia las vacunas, en especial en el sureste del país y en otras áreas rurales y conservadoras.

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