Delta variant is most predominant COVID strain in Iowa

Posted at 6:09 PM, Jul 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-12 22:53:58-04

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa (KMTV) - Dr. David Quimby with CHI Health says the Delta strain is growing exponentially in the Hawkeye State.

"What we have found is when the states are doing their analysis on the variant testing afterward, is that our Delta proportion is increasing over time," Quimby said.

Dr. Jeffrey Sartin, a physician with Methodist Jennie Edmundson Hospital, says this epidemic is only "over" for the people who have been vaccinated. For those who haven't gotten it, there's still significant risk.

"What we're going to see going forward is little flare-ups of infection among these people. It will be a fairly local phenomenon and probably in more rural areas and areas that don't normally have a lot of contact with the healthcare system on a regular basis," Sartin said.

Sartin says at least 50 percent of people infected with the virus is due to the variant - and expects it to be the majority of cases going forward.

Matt Wyant with Pottawattamie County Public Health shared some numbers.

"We have had three Delta variants in Pottawattamie County so far that are known. I say known because it takes an additional three days once the positive test comes back for us to get a notification that, yes, this is a Delta variant," Wyant said.

Sartin expects companies to keep fine-tuning their vaccines.

"The vaccines will be tweaked a little bit to improve the efficacy against these variants. That's one of the really nice things about the mRNA vaccines, they can be changed very quickly," Sartin said.

Sartin says the state needs well above a 50 percent vaccination rate to keep the virus in check. According to the state website, 46 percent of Iowa residents are fully vaccinated.

"We do have to do a little bit better. We really need to get up there to the 75 percent range before we feel very comfortable that we're not going to have any major problems from coronavirus as these new variants come out," Sartin said.

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