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The Delta Variant

By July 26, 2021Commentary

Okay, first, due to government incompetence and deviousness (usually more of the former), no one trusts anything it says any more and every little announcement is treated like some conspiracy theory.  All the diagnostic tests, including PCR tests, for CV-19 received emergency FDA authorization.  Now a bunch have received full approval, so the FDA is withdrawing emergency authorization for any PCR tests that haven’t gotten their full approval.  Several people have emailed and Twitter is making like this is a rejection of PCR testing.  Purely administrative and has nothing to do with the merits of PCR testing.  As readers know, I believe the way PCR tests and results have been used is a big problem, but the FDA action has nothing to do with that.

Here is my summary of the latest UK Public Health agency review of variants.  (UK Review)     People are using this review and sketchy math to claim that the vaccines aren’t working.  And others are using it to support Delta terrorism.  What the latest technical brief actually shows is that Delta does not have the same case rate of serious outcomes that previous strains did and that it is likely only slightly more transmissible, if that.  I don’t know where anyone gets the notion that it is two to three times more transmissible, which is what some “experts” are saying.

Almost all cases in the UK are now Delta, so they have a good base of data.  If you look at table 4, you will see that the case hospitalization rate for Delta appears to be half that of B117 or Alpha, the prior dominant (and terrorizing) variant, and the death rate is a fifth.  Now more Delta cases are likely to be among the vaxed, so that probably is a partial factor in the lower rates, but that would only show that vaccines are working, even against this horrific, terrifying Delta variant.  And while a large number of Delta cases appear to be occurring in the vaxed, the way the data table is set up it is hard to actually tell, because they don’t have a fully vaccinated column, only a “received two doses” one.  Looking at table 6, we see that the secondary attack rate is only slightly higher for Delta than for Alpha, whether among household or non-household contacts.

So I am not buying that Delta is way more transmissible or that it leads to more serious illness.

Join the discussion 8 Comments

  • Peter Johan van der Lugt says:

    Kevin, as always, very sanguine analysis; facts matter, but it takes effort to interpret correctly… thanks for your accurate assessment

  • DaveK says:

    Hi, Kevin… Many thanks for your hard work in digging out the data and taking a clear-eyed approach to its interpretation. If only the so-called “experts” would do that as well.

    Anyway, with regard to the CDC requesting that an existing rapid PCR testing protocol be replaced with some different protocol… One thing that struck me in the announcement was that they wanted a test that would do a better job of differentiating between SARS-CoV2 and Influenza viruses. Is that a tacit admission on the part of the CDC that many of the diagnosed SARS-CoV2 cases were actually seasonal influenza? Also, would that help to explain the near-zero rate of reported seasonal influenza infections?

    • Kevin Roche says:

      I don’t think there was much confusion of flu and CV-19 results, I think that people are trying to find a single test that can identify all respiratory viruses–obviously saves money and time. Flu cases were down largely because CV-19 is capable of excluding other viral infections, I believe, and interestingly, at least one piece of research suggested that rhinoviruses appeared to exclude CV-19 infections.

  • The Dark Lord says:

    well, since the Alpha variant must have been very infectious I’m not sure Delta can really improve on it … after all, even with lockdowns and masks and social distancing Aplha still managed to make alot of people sick … and considering well over 70+% of people who got infected where asymptomatic and thus NOT INFECTIOUS it means that each infectious person must have infected a boatload of people so that boatload -70+% went on to infect others … if the asymtomatic rate was 70% then each infectious person would have had to infect 8 people to get 2 infectious carriers to continue the growth rate … seems like Alpha had a gold medal in infectiousness … and I beleive the asymptomatic rate was much higher than 70% …

    • Kevin Roche says:

      Alpha also turned out to not be that much more infectious. The early spread appears misleading, because if the pool of cases stayed the same but variant A was being displaced by variant D, variant D looks like it is growing really fast, but when it has fully displaced A you realize the cases weren’t growing any faster.

  • DaveK says:

    Thanks for that insight, Kevin. I hadn’t realized that viruses can be “competitive”. However, instead of running out to attend a rhinovirus-party, I think I’ll stick to my regimen of D3 and Zinc supplements.

  • BillW says:

    It would be useful but likely impossible to know if this virus was highly transmissible (got around all attempts at prevention) but was not highly transmissible as far as creating infection in exposed people.

    There are a few data points, including high contact situations (Diamond Princess, CVA-71), where the proximity exposure was high but the infection rates are slow. Then you have people that took all precautions and still got sick.

    I wonder if the reason we are seeing a moderation of infections is because this virus did it thing and is running out of people (See Farr’s Law).

  • Rustnail says:

    The Diamond Princess is one of the few reliable “clinical trails” that we have to draw accurate data from.
    It was before the politicians got hold of the narrative.
    Out of 3700 people trapped on the ship for 8-weeks; only 700 got infected [by testing].
    More than half of those infected had no symptoms; none.
    Only 7 died; they all had other medical issues.

    The Teddy Roosevelt carrier repeated the study with similar results.
    4000 on board—700 tested positive—half had no symptoms—1 died [he had asthma]

    My conclusion: Covid was never as contagious and never as deadly as “they” said it was!

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