Delta Variant Can Spread Up to 2 Days Before Showing Symptoms

Studies have shown that it is possible that the Delta variant of the coronavirus can spread up to two days before symptoms begin to arise; they are more likely to show a positive test within these two days. Other COVID-19 variants showed the same trend, however the time between testing positive and feeling symptoms were much shorter — just 0.8 days. The Delta variant showed a positive test 1.8 days before showing symptoms.

The result of such a large time gap between showing symptoms means that three-quarters of infections caused by the Delta variant are occurring during the presymptomatic phase. This could also be a cause of the increased infectiousness. Dr. Stefen Ammon, medical director of the COVID-19 Task Force for DispatchHealth weighs in on this: “The Delta strain is more contagious, in part, because infected individuals carry and shed more virus than previous versions.”

“While the earlier version of COVID-19 was as transmissible as the common cold, the Delta variant is more transmissible than seasonal influenza, polio, smallpox, Ebola, and the bird flu, and is as contagious as chicken pox,” he added.

Studies have also shown that the Delta variant replicates and multiplies at a faster rate than the original strain. In addition to the extended time to show symptoms with the Delta variant, it seems that this variant causes a higher viral load than previous variants as well. Viral load is the amount of particles in an infected person’s blood, the larger the viral load, the more severe and infectious each case is.

Currently, the Delta variant is accounting for more than 90 percent of the COVID-19 cases in the United States overall. More breakthrough infections (infections happening to those who are fully vaccinated) are also occurring. On the brightside, Dr. Jason Gallager, an infectious disease expert and clinical pharmacy specialist in infectious diseases at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, referenced two studies that show that “viral RNA declines more quickly in vaccinated people than unvaccinated people, suggesting that they are less likely to transmit the virus to others.”

Fully vaccinated individuals are continuing to show strong protection against the various strains of the coronavirus, including the Delta variant, but the CDC is still recommending the continuation of safety precautions regardless of vaccination status.

Unvaccinated people, however, continue to be at the greatest risk for infection, hospitalization, and death caused by the virus. States which have a disproportionate number of vaccinated people are seeing a sharp rise in infections. Small pockets of unvaccinated populations can lead to hyperlocal outbreaks, this is when a largely vaccinated population is adjacent to a largely unvaccinated population. When this happens, the virus then, seemingly jumps and infects only the unvaccinated pockets, creating highly concentrated hotspots of cases.

References: Delta variant super infectious, transmits virus 2 days before symptom onset, finds…
The SARs-COV-2 virus has impacted the lives of millions in and around the world. Now, with the new emerging variants…

Terms of Use and Disclaimer — The information contained in this document has been culled from online resources and government agencies and is for general informational purposes only. The information is provided in good faith to support the community and our friends impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We makes no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information contained herein. Your use of this document and your reliance on the information contained herein is solely at your own risk. All liability with respect to any reader, user or browser’s reliance on this document and/or actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this document is hereby expressly disclaimed.