Huntsville physician says new COVID variant most contagious to date

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Hospitalizations in the Huntsville Hospital System are down tremendously from this time last year.

As of June 16, 2021, there are 29 COVID-19 inpatients systemwide. Dr. Ali Hassoun, an infectious disease specialist with Huntsville Hospital, said many of those patients have one thing in common.

“The majority are unvaccinated. At least 80 percent or more,” he said.

Of the state’s listed population, only about 30 percent of Alabamians are vaccinated.

The vaccines on the market are said to protect people from virus variants. And we’ve seen several new strains reach Alabama over the past few months.

Dr. Hassoun said the Delta variant is the latest one to surface overseas. While there’s no data in the United States to compare the Delta variant to other variants that have already reached the states, he’s concerned.

“I think it’s going to go up more,” he said. “If you look at what other countries have as far as the Delta variant, it’s much more transmissible. It’s much easier to transmit it from one person to another. And because of that, as there is more crowding, there’s a higher chance of being hospitalized with it and more complications associated with it.”

The CDC said it is worried the Delta variant could become dominant in the U.S. this summer. So, the calls for more vaccinations continue, in hopes that infection rates remain low.

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