The Delta variant of the novel coronavirus has taken over the U.S. in recent weeks.
So why does Delta spread so much faster than other virus variants? Researchers believe the Delta variant is able to make copies of itself inside the human body at a faster rate than others. That means infected people carry a much larger viral load – more than one thousand times larger in some cases. That kind of viral load can spread to another person within a few minutes – even at distances of six feet or more.
The risk of infection is significantly higher in unvaccinated people – who account for 97% of hospitalizations and 99.5% of deaths.
With the Delta variant already dominant, how bad could infections get in the fall and winter months?