Skip to main content

KPBS Radio is undergoing scheduled upgrade work which may result in temporary signal outages.

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Tokyo Olympics

Delta Is Now The Dominant Coronavirus Variant In The U.S.

Photo caption:

Photo by Boris Roessler DPA/Picture Alliance via Getty

The delta variant, first detected in India, is spreading across the globe and is now the dominant variant in the U.S., according to estimates by the CDC.

The highly contagious delta variant now accounts for more than 51% of COVID-19 cases in the U.S., according to new estimates released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The variant, also known as B.1.617.2, was first detected in India and is spreading quickly across the globe.

And in parts of the U.S., the delta strain accounts for more than 80% of new infections, including some Midwestern states like Missouri, Kansas and Iowa.

The delta variant is already causing 74.3% of infections in Western states, including Utah and Colorado, and 58.8% of infections in Southern states like Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma, according to CDC estimates.

The good news is the vaccines being used in the U.S. all appear to be highly effective at protecting against serious disease, hospitalization and death. And public health officials are urging the roughly 140 to 150 million people who remain unvaccinated to get vaccinated.

"Right now we have two Americas: the vaccinated and the unvaccinated America," says Dr. Paul Offit, an infectious disease specialist at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

"We're feeling pretty good right now because it's the summer. But come winter, if we still have a significant percentage of the population that is unvaccinated, we're going to see this virus surge again," Offit says.

And it's crucial to increase vaccinations in other countries, says Saad Omer, a vaccine researcher at Yale. "The world has to get its act together," Omer says. "Otherwise yet another, potentially more dangerous, variant could emerge."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

FEATURED PODCAST

San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.