INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Another coronavirus surge is here and, because of the delta variant, it’s stronger than ever.
The numbers don’t lie; hospitalizations, testing and death rates are reaching levels we haven’t seen since the worst of the pandemic last winter.
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As one doctor put it, when a person is infected with the mutation, it’s eating their lungs. This is resulting in a more rapid decline in health status — which is mostly occurring in the unvaccinated. This group is requiring oxygen, intubation and ventilators — which may have not been the case earlier in the pandemic.
“What we know for sure is it is much more infectious than the other variants, 10 times more,” Dr. Ram Yeleti, chief physician executive at Community Health, told News 8. “How badly is it affecting the lungs? It looks like it’s more severe. There was a recent study that was done out of the UK (United Kingdom) that shows the delta variant does look like it’s worse now than it was before. So, there is a suggestion that the virus itself is attacking in different ways and attacking our immune system differently than it did before.”
While scientists don’t know exactly the mechanism driving rapid deterioration, Yeleti says a delta infection causes the body to attack itself more aggressively, leading to organ failure, inflammation and, at worst, death.
He also says the mortality rate is so high because — even though we do have treatments such as anti-inflammatory steroids available — there is no cure, which is why getting vaccinated is essential now more than ever.
Below is the full interview with Dr. Yeleti. App users can go online to view the interview.