UW health professionals share new Delta variant data

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Experts from the University of Wisconsin held a livestream Tuesday evening to discuss the Delta variant and new data that has come out of Dane County.

David O’Connor, the UW Medical Foundation Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine shared data from the Public Health of Dane Country that compared the amount of virus present in nasal swabs from people who fully vaccinated and people who weren’t and found that the numbers were very similar.

"When we first got the vaccine data earlier in the year we thought the vaccine would curtail the amount of virus you found in nasal swabs and indeed it did until this Delta Variant emerged,” explained O’Connor.“The Delta Variant seems to be partially resistant to the vaccine and certainly the high amount of virus that gets produced by people who are infected with Delta leads to the situation where some people get infected after being vaccinated, none the less have a lot of virus in their systems.”

O’Connor went on to say that vaccines still provide the best protection from sickness, but that with the Delta variant, they may not prevent people from becoming virus spreaders.

“If you’ve been vaccinated, you’re still going to need to take precautions. You’re going to have to participate in these community precautions. You’re going to need to wear a mask in some indoors settings. It was really heartening to the updated guidance on K-12 schools today," O’Connor said in relation to new CDC guidance.

The full discussion can be found here.