Coronavirus infections from the delta variant have a viral load 300 times greater than the original strain, according to a study released by the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency (KDCA), The Hill reported on Tuesday.
South Korean Health Ministry official Lee Sang said that the increased load means the virus is more transmissible, which could cause more cases and hospitalizations, but he also stressed to Reuters that the viral load diminishes over a short period of time and does not indicate that it is 300 times more contagious.
He said, for example, that the viral load decreases to only 30 times more after four days and is the same as other variants after 10 days
The research compared the viral load of 1,848 patients who came down with the delta variant with 22,106 others who were infected with different strains.
The study comes as the spread of the delta variant throughout the U.S. and the international community has led to countries taking various measures in an attempt to reduce its spread, according to the Hill.
In the United States, 51.5% of the population is fully vaccinated, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This compares with a world average of only 24.6%.
Various places in the U.S. have already implemented vaccine mandates. Fox News reported that U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy believes the Food and Drug Administration’s full approval of the Pfizer vaccine will "likely encourage" certain places to institute vaccine mandates and thus increase the vaccination rate for those who had been waiting for such full approval.
He added that "there are universities and businesses that have been considering putting in vaccine requirements in order to create a safer workplace or learning environment. And I think this announcement from the FDA would likely encourage them and make them feel more comfortable."
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