Last updated on 08/17/2021 08:12 PM

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WHO says some Covid data may suggest increased risk of hospitalization from delta variant

Delta Variant

A top World Health Organization official said data from some countries may suggest that the delta variant causes an increased risk of hospitalization in those infected, but it isn’t necessarily killing more people than other strains.

“In terms of severity, we have seen some countries suggest that there is increased risk of hospitalization for people who are infected with the delta variant. We haven’t seen that translate to increased death,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, WHO’s technical lead on Covid-19. People infected with the delta variant “have not died more often than with the other strains,” she said. 

Health officials have struggled with the question for months, awaiting real-world data to play out in countries that are experiencing high levels of spread of the delta variant. Van Kerkhove said WHO officials meet daily to discuss the rapidly spreading variant.