The highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus did not appear to cause more “severe outcomes” in hospitalized patients, a new federal report says.
An analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention looked at data from 14 states and “found no significant increases in the proportion of hospitalized COVID-19 patients with severe outcomes during the delta period.”
The report delves into one of the burning questions about the delta variant that dominated the U.K. and the rest of the globe, including the U.S., over the mid-summer.
While the variant can be fast-moving and spread widely, the report suggests it doesn’t cause more severe disease, as suspected.
Instead, it appears to have latched onto unvaccinated people and attacked a younger age group as people began to mingle again after months of isolation.
The report found the proportion of hospitalized COVID-19 aged 18 to 49 significantly increased, from 24.7% of all hospitalizations before the delta variant’s dominance to 35.8% afterward.
During a period from January to August described as the “Delta period,” the study found that 71.8% of patients hospitalized were unvaccinated.
A separate CDC study last month found unvaccinated persons were 10 times more likely to be hospitalized and 11 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than vaccinated persons over the spring and summer.