September 20, 2021

Delta variant in Adams, Taylor counties

Adams and Taylor County Public Health Administrator Crystal Drake said Wednesday each county has a case of the Delta variant of COVID-19.

“We learned it last week,” Drake said.

No other information was disclosed about the counties’ Delta variant cases.

Drake explained testing and confirmation of the Delta variant is done at the state’s hygenic lab.

“People can request a Delta test,” she said. “It’s done in addition to the test to see if it is negative or positive to covid.”

For example, Drake said a person who is vaccinated and suspects may have covid can ask for a covid test. The test sample is then sent to the state for confirmation of the Delta variant. That test is called sequencing.

“As we started seeing more delta in state, the state hygenic lab determined if any positive cases, they will automatically do sequencing on all positive cases,” she said.

Drake said Adams County had two more COVID-19 cases July 21-28 while Taylor County saw one new case. The fully vaccination rate for Adams County is 44 percent while Taylor County is 38.8 percent.

”In an effort to ensure accurate and consistent information is provided to residents, we will resume reporting of COVID-19 data for Taylor and Adams county on a weekly basis,” Drake said. “This will occur every Wednesday to coincide with the state’s COVID-19 dashboard updates.

The Delta variant (B.1.617.2) is the most common COVID-19 virus strain circulating the U.S., the region, and in Iowa,” Drake said. The Delta variant was originally found in India in December 2020 and was first seen in the U.S. in March. 

The Delta variant creates a tremendous amount of virus in the body — far more than previous strains. A great deal of that virus thrives in the nose and throat early in infection. The result is the virus spreads easier (an infected person has more virus, which means there is more virus to spread) and vaccinated people could become unwilling vectors for spreading disease.”

Drake said the vaccine is still working. She said some vaccinated people may test positive and are infected, but do not experience illness. Some experience mild illness. More than 97 percent of hospitalizations are unvaccinated people.

“The vaccine produces antibody response primarily in the blood,” Drake said. “In the early stages of infection, those antibodies might not make it to the nose until the virus makes its way into the lungs where your immune response ramps up. Plain and simple, if the COVID-19 virus strains continue to spread from person-to-person, new variants will continue to occur,” Drake said. “COVID-19 vaccines are effective against the variants that are currently circulating, so all eligible people are urged to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Getting vaccinated protects against the current virus strains and decreases the chances of a vaccine-resistant variant developing in the future.”

John Van Nostrand

JOHN VAN NOSTRAND

An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.