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How worried should we be about the coronavirus Delta variant?

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Posted at 5:04 PM, Jun 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-24 02:57:51-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — More contagious than the original virus. The Delta variant of the coronavirus is spreading fast across the country, and it’s also here in Southern Nevada. Doctors say there’s some concern but the tools are already there to beat it.

With an exit ramp in sight in this pandemic for Southern Nevada, new strains of the coronavirus are sparking some concern, especially the Delta variant. It’s considered to be much more contagious than the original virus.

“Every once in a while, you get the right combination of changes that allows it to spread more easily,” said UNLV health professor Dr. Brian Labus.

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The Delta variant, first detected in India, has now spread across the country, including Southern Nevada. The Southern Nevada Health District says there are13 positive cases of the variant in Clark County so far.

“It’s likely we’ll see this variant as the dominant strain throughout the area and the country because it spread so much more easily than others,” Dr. Labus said.

He says there is concern about how contagious it is, especially for unvaccinated people, but there shouldn’t be panic. People who are vaccinated can rest assured.

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“The vaccine should still provide protection against this particular strain, so if you haven’t been vaccinated, it’s even more important that you do so now,” he said.

Dr. Labus says while the vaccine may be less effective against the Delta variant, it is still is very effective at preventing severe hospitalization and death.

“It will still provide some protection and some protection is better than no protection,” he said.

Currently, the Alpha strain of the virus, which was first found in the U.K., is the dominant strain here in Clark County.

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