What makes the Delta variant strain so strong?

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — We all know the Delta variant is what’s driving up COVID infections in Shelby County and across the country.

But what is this strain that makes it so strong?

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FOX13 asked doctors to share important facts about the virus.

“The variant has a mutation that allows it to enter cells more effectively.  It allows the virus to grow more rapidly in the respiratory tract and achieve higher viral loads,” said Dr. Shirin Mazumder, an infectious disease specialist at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare.

Preliminary data from China indicates the viral load in the nose from the Delta variant maybe 1,000 times higher than previous variants. 

Simply put, that means it’s much more contagious.

Doctors said the number one thing you need to know about the Delta variant is if you are vaccinated, your symptoms are likely not going to be as severe as if you were unvaccinated.