Delta variant a cause for concern in Mississippi, doctors say

TUNICA COUNTY, Miss. — Mississippi State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs says there is serious concern over the Delta variant of COVID-19 in the state, and he isn’t the only one.

FOX13 spoke with a Tunica County doctor who also says there is a reason for concern.

Dr. Odilichi Ezenwanne is with the Aaron E. Henry Community Health Center and on Tunica County’s Covid Task Force. He says he is concerned about the spread of the Delta variant for a number of reasons.

”It is more transmissible, and it has a propensity to lead to more severe infections with people who eventually get the infection.” Ezenwanne said.

Dr. Ezenwanne shared that the concern is the rate at which the Delta variant spreads and the number of people in the state of Mississippi that haven’t been vaccinated.

”You know most of the fears being expressed is because you have this highly transmissible variant coming in. Would we be turning back time to see earlier what we saw last year?” he said.

Ezanwanne said not only does Mississippi have one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, but he is concerned about counties within the state that have low vaccination rates compared to other parts of the state.

”You have counties, and you have higher vaccination rates. Here in Tunica County, we are less than 35 percent, and so that is concerning. That is a far cry from a herd immunity of 70 to 90 percent. It is concerning for any community with a low vaccination rate,” Ezenwanne said.

Dr. Ezenwanne says he doesn’t think communities need to go back to stringent lockdowns, but people need to be on their guard and wear masks.