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Today we’re sitting down with Dr. Jeffrey Klausner, who’s been a professor at UCLA and is currently a clinical professor of Medicine at USC.
We’re discussing the Delta variant, how it differs from the original COVID strain, and what projections are for this variant.
COVID-19 is caused by the SARS Cov 2 virus, which mutates. Every time a virus mutates in a certain key portion (receptor binding domain) of the virus, that’s considered a variant. The spike protein is how the virus attaches to the cell and invades the body. Keep in mind that a variant is different from a mutation, as a mutation would transform into a different virus altogether. Variants show small changes in the spike protein, and Delta is a recent variant of COVID-19 that’s been increasing. The higher amount of virus in the secretions causes an increased likelihood of the spread of the Delta variant- it’s much easier to spread. . The most important thing we can currently do is to promote vaccination, as infections are mainly spreading amongst unvaccinated people.
As a former CDC Medical Officer, Doctor Klausner would say that there’s always been preparation for pandemics. There had been anticipation and preparation for influenza. It was a surprise that this was a Coronavirus pandemic. The idea of a pandemic wasn’t necessarily a big surprise, but the fact that it was a Coronavirus was.
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