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‘Highly transmissible’ COVID-19 variant found in Pueblo County

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO)-- The Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment announced Monday that the Delta variant of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Pueblo County. PDPHE says they have currently sequenced nine diagnosed cases so far.

The Delta variant is a strain of COVID-19 first identified in India. It is considered to be more virulent and tends to lead to more serious symptoms.

PDHPE director Randy Evetts said the actual number of people infected with the Delta variant in Pueblo is likely higher. He says it's been hard to identify the exact number of cases because people are now getting tested less frequently, and that affects sequencing.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are considered to be 80-83 percent effective against the Delta variant, but Dr. Chris Urbina, who works with PDHPE, says they've seen fully vaccinated people get infected.

"With this new delta variant, we were very concerned that we may see a higher number of breakthrough infections," Urbina said. We've been concerned about that all along and that's why we want to get people vaccinated-- to reduce the spread totally in our community."

PDHPE says they are seeing breakthrough cases in older adults and people with chronic medical conditions.

There have been 109 cases with the Delta variant identified in El Paso County thus far. For comparison, Denver County has only sequenced six cases of the Delta variant.

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Spencer Soicher

Spencer is the weekend evening anchor, and a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about him here.


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