The threat of the Delta variant

Maine's CDC director, Dr. Nirav Shah, answers questions about the latest news regarding COVID-19.
3:07 | 06/19/21

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Transcript for The threat of the Delta variant
All right, Trevor Ault, thank you. Joining us now is the doctor for the state of Maine. Good to have you. Want to start with president Biden. We heard him yesterday sounding the alarm on the delta variant, calling it more transmissible and potentially deadlier. It's been discovered in every state now. How much does this variant threaten all of the progress that we've made in the pandemic. Good morning, and thank you for having me on. You're right. President Biden is right. The delta variant poses a challenge to our collective efforts to squash covid once and for all. That being said, we need not react to the delta variant. We can act now. Thankfully the vaccines that we have available have shown great effectiveness against -- including the delta variant. The best thing that folks can do right now, who are concerned about this, is take the clear step of going out and getting vaccinated and keeping themselves and their families safe. And that's an important point. The CDC also recently updated a list of symptoms. There's early reports suggesting that with the delta variants, certain symptoms were becoming more prevalent, like headaches, sore throat, runny nose. What should people look out for ad when should they get tested? Well, that's right. It's not so much that these symptoms are new, they are slightly different, from the more classical symptoms that we heard about, like cough and shortness of breath. As you noted, headaches and runny noses. But the bottom line here isn't different. If you're not feeling that well, especially if you're not yet vaccinated, the best things to do are to stay home, stay inside, and avoid exposing others. And then second, arrange for yourself to get tested. After you've been recovered, if you have covid-19, the first thing you should do after that, is make sure you get vaccinated. And there's plenty of testing available right now. I do want to turn to myocarditis. It's that rare heart inflammation in young people. The CDC postponed its emergency meeting about it until next week. More than 300 cases are now being investigated. More cases than first thought. What's your message to parents who are on the fence about getting their kids vaccinated? My view right now, based on what we know today, is that the risk of covid-19 still exceeds the risk of getting the vaccine. What we're seeing right now is science unfolding in action, right before our eyes. And the central question that scientists are trying to figure out is whether these cases of heart inflammation merely happened after folks got vaccinated or whether they happened because they got vaccinated. Wherever we land on that question scientifically, based on what we know right now, in light of the delta variant we've been discussing, the risk of covid still exceeds the risk of getting vaccinated. What I would indicate to those who haven't been vaccinated or the parents of younger folks is to go ahead and get that shot. The vast majority of those patients have recovered with little to no treatment. Do want to mention that, as well. Dr. Shah, thank you for your time. Thank you for having me.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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