In Los Angeles County, the rate of new Covid-19 cases has increased 300% since July 4, the county health department said. Covid-19 hospitalizations have more than doubled from the previous month.
That is concerning, Murthy said, because often a rise in cases and hospitalizations is followed by a rise in Covid-19 deaths. Experts are particularly worried about the unvaccinated populations, as 99.5% of the deaths from Covid-19 occur among people who have not been vaccinated, Murthy said.
The fight to increase vaccinations is transitioning to the hands of local leaders, Murthy said. Springfield, Missouri, Mayor Ken McClure told “Face the Nation” he hopes community leaders will convince people to get vaccinated before it is too late.
The only way to stem the rise in cases is vaccination, Murthy told CNN’s Dana Bash Sunday.
Delta is the most transmissible Covid-19 variant yet, US Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy told CNN. And experts say it is exacerbating the rise in cases among unvaccinated Americans.
And 48 states are now seeing new case numbers surge at least 10% higher than the previous week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
“So it gets down to the community leaders, the community institutions that people trust saying you have to get vaccination. That’s the only way that we are going to emerge from this,” McClure said.
Delta variant sends younger people to the hospital
The Delta variant might spread faster than other strains of coronavirus because it makes more copies of itself inside our bodies at a faster pace, researchers found. In research posted online, scientists examining 62 cases of the Delta variant found viral loads about 1,260 times higher than those found in 63 cases from the early epidemic wave in 2020.
The Delta variant is also sending younger and previously healthy people to hospitals — the vast majority of which have not been vaccinated, say doctors in several states suffering surges. “This year’s virus is not last year’s virus,” said Dr. Catherine O’Neal, an infectious disease specialist at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
“It’s attacking our 40-year-olds. It’s attacking our parents and young grandparents. And it’s getting our kids,” O’Neal said. She said her Covid-19 unit now has more patients in their 20s than previously during the pandemic. In the face of rampant misinformation about the virus and the vaccine, McClure urged people to use trusted sources and to “make sure people have good information.”
“All this misinformation that’s floating around is having a real cost that can be measured in lives lost, and that is tragic,” Murthy said. Children under 12 likely won’t get vaccinations soon
And with the virus’ disproportionately higher impact among people who aren’t vaccinated, the consequences can be severe. Misinformation “takes away our freedom,” Murthy said, adding that the inaccurate information inhibits people’s power to make educated decisions about the health of themselves and their families.