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Local doctor talks delta variant concerns

“We’ve had in our service 20-year-old’s intubated and very, very sick and we’ve seen people dying from this without any health issues,”
Delta variant
Delta variant
Published: Aug. 15, 2021 at 2:29 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - There are currently more than 120 patients and 30 in the ICU battling COVID at Huntsville Hospital. Vacant hospital beds are in short supply as COVID cases continue to rise across the Valley.

Dr. Ali Hassoun says the prevalent delta variant is much more transmissible and affecting the younger population now more than ever.

“The numbers continue to increase, you know the mortality rate also continues to go up,” said Hassoun.

Hassoun says he doesn’t think we’ve reached the peak number of COVID cases. He says the delta variant has much higher viral shedding than the original strain, causing more people to get infected and sicker than ever.

The main shift since the delta variant became so common, is the younger population it’s affecting. At the beginning of the pandemic, most ICU patients were elderly.

“We’ve had in our service 20-year-old’s intubated and very, very sick and we’ve seen people dying from this without any health issues compared to earlier about a year ago, we used to see those who were elderly, those who have risk factors, more complications and stuff. So, you know things have changed completely,” said Hassoun.

Hassoun says another concern is if transmission continues, hospital beds will become full and the virus will inevitably mutate more, becoming more and more aggressive.

“If there’s gonna be more mutation we might see at one point where the vaccinated are really gonna get more infected and the vaccine is not gonna be helpful anymore,” said Hassoun.

Hassoun says if people don’t get vaccinated and go back to prevention guidelines, the rise in cases will continue.

“We’ve been through this for a long time now, and everybody understands we need to do our part,” said Hassoun.

Hassoun says if we don’t do our part, not only will hospitals be affected, but also schools, businesses, and the economy.

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