Home WORLD A Big Delta Unknown - The New York Times

A Big Delta Unknown – The New York Times

These tentative conclusions come from three different sources: expert opinion; research studies; and overall data on cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Let’s take them one at a time:

Because the evidence is still emerging and sometimes inconsistent, experts do not read it precisely the same way. Still, I have noticed the broad outlines of a consensus in recent interviews:

  • “Any difference is a small difference,” Dr. Aaron Richterman of the University of Pennsylvania told me.

  • “On a per-infection basis, I don’t think it’s changed,” Jennifer Nuzzo, the lead epidemiologist for the Johns Hopkins Covid-19 Testing Insights Initiative, said. “The risks to vaccinated people haven’t really changed.”

  • “It really is in the ‘I don’t know stage,’” Dr. Paul Sax of Brigham and Women’s Hospital said.

  • Dr. Robert Wachter of the University of California, San Francisco, said: “I treat as if it might be a little more severe, but I don’t know that it matters that much. I can’t think of any public health decision that hinges on whether it’s the same or 20 percent worse.”

  • Dr. David Dowdy of Johns Hopkins pointed out that most people naturally assume Delta is more severe — because it is new, scary and more contagious. Given this bias, he advises assuming it is not more severe absent good evidence. He thinks it’s equally likely that Delta is slightly more severe or slightly less severe.

The studies evaluating Delta’s severity have been frustratingly inconsistent. “There has been mixed evidence about whether it’s more severe or not,” Dr. Rebecca Wurtz of the University of Minnesota told me. “The final word is not yet in.”

Some research — like a study from Scotland — has found that the people who contract Delta get sicker on average than similar people who contracted an earlier version of the virus. Other evidence says otherwise. As Ariana Eunjung Cha of The Washington Post wrote:

A recent technical paper out of Britain suggested the Delta variant does not cause more serious illness than its predecessors, but the analysis did not specifically break out children. David Rubin, a researcher at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia who has been studying U.S. hospitalization data, said that in recent weeks, 1,200 to 1,400 children were inpatients at the peak, and while those numbers may be large, the rate of hospitalization remains the same as in the past at 0.8 to 0.9 percent.

Dowdy notes that the more alarming findings tend to receive more public attention, but that doesn’t make them more likely to be right.

The broad Covid data is probably the biggest reason to doubt that Delta is meaningfully more severe than earlier versions of the virus. The share of Covid cases leading to hospitalization seems to have held steady or even declined in recent months.

That’s true in Britain, including among children too young to be vaccinated. It’s true among both vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans in places that publish detailed numbers, like the state of Utah and the city of Seattle. And it’s true among the full U.S. population: Total cases have risen almost fifteenfold since their June nadir, while hospital admissions have risen about sixfold.

By themselves, none of these comparisons prove much, because the mix of who gets Covid can change over time. But if Delta were significantly more severe, you’d expect to see some signs that hospitalizations or deaths were rising faster than new cases. Those signs are hard to find.

Source link

RELATED ARTICLES

Volcano erupts on Spain’s Canary Islands

A volcano has erupted on La Palma in Spain’s Canary Islands, sending lava, smoke, and ash into the air. Authorities are rushing to evacuate...

China to blame for iron ore price crash

Chinese steel production curbs, which has resulted in a sharp fall in iron ore prices, is Beijing’s way of “getting even” with Australia over...

Boxer Manny Pacquiao runs for President

One of the greatest boxers of all time Manny Pacquiao has announced he is running to become the president of Philippines.The 42 year old...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

2021 Peugeot 3008 GT review: SUV for families that want style and flair

This rival to some of Australia’s favourite vehicles brings style and flair to the family SUV segment, but there is one problem for buyers.​Australians...

French defense minister CANCELS meeting with British counterpart amid outrage over AUKUS deal – reports — RT World News

The British and French defense ministers' upcoming meeting has reportedly been called off, as Paris continues...

Live Updates: Remains Believed to Belong to Woman Missing in Van Mystery Are Found

ImageGabrielle Petito, 22, vanished while on a cross-country trip in a converted camper van with her boyfriend.Credit...North Port Police Department, via Associated PressHuman remains...

Volcano erupts on Spain’s Canary Islands

A volcano has erupted on La Palma in Spain’s Canary Islands, sending lava, smoke, and ash into the air. Authorities are rushing to evacuate...