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Tue, Sept. 21

Delta COVID variant discovered in Mohave County patients

The Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is now present in Mohave County. County Public Health Director Denise Burley is shown. (Miner file photo)

The Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is now present in Mohave County. County Public Health Director Denise Burley is shown. (Miner file photo)

KINGMAN – The Mohave County Department of Public Health is reporting that the Delta variant of COVID-19 is present in some positive cases found in Mohave County.

The county wrote in a news release that as the Delta variant spreads across the country and Arizona, it is also present in some of the local positive cases. The Arizona Department of Health Services monitors all variants in the state as well as in specific counties, the release noted. County health departments are then informed of the conditions.

“Research indicates the Delta variant is significantly more transmissible than other variants, and the fact that we are experiencing an increase in cases, and the Delta variant is present in our county is concerning,” said Denise Burley, county health director.

The Delta variant was initially identified in India in December 2020 and first detected in the U.S. in March 2021. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization, the variant didn’t raise alarms until India faced a major COVID-19 surge this spring from the variant. The CDC maintains a variant tracking site for residents to follow at https://bit.ly/3wfPzLH.

Delta appears to be more transmissible, the county continued. However, it’s not clear if it causes more severe disease or leads to more deaths.

“Moderna has announced results from a small lab study that showed only a ‘modest reduction’ in neutralizing antibodies against Delta with its mRNA vaccine, though the variant may reduce the vaccine’s efficacy,” the county wrote.

As is expected with any vaccine, fully vaccinated individuals may still become infected with the disease the vaccine is designed to protect against. Across the nation, including Mohave County, there have been some breakthrough cases of COVID in fully vaccinated individuals. Generally, if a person becomes infected after being fully vaccinated, the vaccine prevents serious illness, hospitalization or death.

“Current research suggests that authorized vaccines are working on the variants, and to prevent future surges in cases, we strongly recommend that our county residents get vaccinated as soon as possible,” Burley said.

Vaccinations are readily available throughout the county, and appointments can often be made the same day, with some providers offering the vaccination on a walk-in basis. A list of vaccine providers can be found at https://bit.ly/2UPDkbM.

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