Local doctor explains what you should know about alarming coronavirus variant

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW/AP) — The latest alarming coronavirus variant is exploiting low global vaccination rates and a rush to ease pandemic restrictions.

That’s adding new urgency to the drive to get more shots in arms and slow its supercharged spread. The vaccines most used in Western countries still appear to offer strong protection against the highly contagious delta variant. The mutation was first identified in India and now spreading in more than 90 other countries.

The World Health Organization warned this week that the trifecta of easier-to-spread strains, insufficiently immunized populations and a drop in mask use and other public health measures will delay the end of the pandemic.

Dr. Amy Edwards, pediatric infectious diseases expert with University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, appeared on FOX 8 News in the Morning Thursday to talk about what you should know about the variant.

She said while it’s not clear if it’s more deadly, it appears to be more contagious.

“Other thing that we see, for instance, if you look at Israel or other countries that are very highly vaccinated is the delta variant is so contagious it seems to find those tiny pockets of unvaccinated population. I mean, in Israel they are at like 75% of their entire country is vaccinated – that’s a huge percentage for the country- they were seeing herd immunity where they would go days without infections and without any death in the entire country. I think yesterday they saw 100 and something cases in one day and it was all the delta variant and 98% were unvaccinated,” Dr. Edwards said. (See her entire interview in the video, above.)

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