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OU Chief Covid Officer addresses Delta strain in Oklahoma

(Associated Press (custom credit) | AP)
Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 2:46 PM CDT
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OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KSWO) - Coronavirus cases are on the rise across Oklahoma.

University of Oklahoma’s Chief Covid Officer Dr. Dale Bratzler said there has been a substantial increase in cases since June 7.

Dr. Bratzler urged everyone to take precautions to help prevent the spread.

The state is averaging 190 new cases a day.

The current hot spot is in the northeastern corner of the state.

Dr. Bratzler said he believes that the surge in cases may be due to the state’s close proximity to Missouri.

Missouri is reporting the highest rate of new cases in the nation, with most new cases in the southwest corner that borders Oklahoma.

“I think that the Delta strain of the virus is causing a big outbreak in southwest Missouri and is making its way down the turnpike,” Dr. Bratzler said. “Just think about it: someone can be driving through Missouri, stop and eat at a truck stop, stop anywhere around people and drive on through state lines. Do not stop the spread.”

Dr. Bratzler said he believes the Delta strain of the virus is now the predominant strain in Oklahoma.

The Delta variant is now 20% of all new cases in the U.S., and is 50 to 60% more transmittable.

He said those infected with the Delta variant are generally sicker and more likely to have complications.

Delta doubles the risk of hospitalization.

Unrelenting headaches are a symptom of the variant.

Vaccines do work to prevent infection and the spread of COVID-19, just not as well on the Delta variant.

One vaccine dose is 33% effective at preventing the Delta variant while having both doses is 88% effective.

50% of Oklahomans are not fully vaccinated.

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