Affordable healthcare is a major concern for every American. Enrollment in health insurance for self-employment, college students, and other historically low health insurance coverage demographics is on the rise just as the Delta variant makes its deadly course attacking young and old alike.
Who would have guessed that the world would be where it is at right now? Almost two years since the first Covid-19 cases were reported in Wuhan, China, in November of 2019 and COVID-19 cases are on the rise again. The coronavirus pandemic instead of shrinking and tapering off is getting worse.
Hopefully, by this time everyone in Florida has been able to get a Florida Marketplace health insurance quote from a health insurance broker near them and everyone in the State owns a policy of health insurance effective immediately.
In the US, Covid-19 cases were initially reported in February of 2020, weeks after the World Health Organization declared a pandemic on January 20, 2020.
As of August 2020, the pandemic has reportedly affected 39,488,866 individuals who tested positive to Covid-19 and caused 641, 725 deaths in this country.
The State of Florida has experienced an upsurge of 235.9% in coronavirus new cases since the beginning of the pandemic for a total cumulative number of cases of 3, 315,041 and 44,571 deaths as reported by the Center for Disease Control.
A weekly report published by Florida Department of Health, Florida Covid-19 Response, provides evidence. In the last week of August 2021, the coronavirus pandemic increased at a rate of 701 cases per 100,000 people, or 151,502 cases in the week of 8.27.2021. This represents a 1% increase from the previous week.
A total of 286 deaths were reported for the same period (ending (8.27.2021) at a 1.3% increase from the previous week on the weekly report.
The upsurge of coronavirus cases has been found to be caused by the COVID-19 Delta variant.
What is the Delta variant?
The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) causing the Coronavirus disease in 2019 (COVID-19) presents several variants which have been spreading throughout the US and the world.
There are three major classifications of Coronavirus Variants.
- Variant of interest – are being characterized and watched in the US.
- Variant of Concern – Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Gamma variants are circulating in the US.
- Variant of High Consequences – no variants of high consequence have been identified in the US.
New data about the Delta variant which emerged in India reveals that it may be more contagious than other variants. In June of 2021, the CDC noticed that the weekly rate of cases spiked from 12,000 to 60,000. This prompted a nationwide vaccination alert released that same month.
What had been a steady decline in Covid-19 cases became a significant spike that looked more like the rates seen before vaccination was available. Furthermore, Delta variant is not only more transmissible but may also cause more severe illnesses in unvaccinated people.
Everyone infected with COVID-19 can transmit the disease whether they have been vaccinated. Although vaccinated individuals are less likely to become infected by COVID-19, it is not clear if they can transmit the disease when the infection is asymptomatic.
How to tell which variant you have
The test for Delta variant consists of a specific type of genomic sequencing test which is not available to any health care provider. So, if you test positive for COVID, you will not know if it is the Delta variant for sure. Infected samples are submitted to the CDC surveillance program for identification.
Delta and Delta Plus variants account for the majority of cases worldwide according the World Health Organization (WHO) Tracking SARS-CoV-2 variants page.
The COVID-19 Delta variant may present the same symptoms but feel more like allergies. Cough, fever, and shortness of breath, a sore throat, and lots of sneezing have been reported as Delta variant symptoms along with fatigue, confusion, body aches, and headache.
Ways to protect yourself and your family
What is important to know is that Delta variant is 40-60 percent more transmissible than other strains. Likewise, most cases are occurring among people who are not vaccinated. However, vaccinated individuals can transmit the disease and become infected. Therefore, the mandate to wear masks has been revised.
Knowing what to do to improve your body’s response to the virus once you have tested positive for COVID can make a difference in your recovery.
The Florida Health homepage boasts a large yellow sign with breaking news about the availability of Monoclonal Antibody Therapy (MAB) treatments. Follow the link to locate a treatment center near you. This free treatment is supposed to prevent hospitalization and death among high-risk individuals who have been exposed to COVID-19 by 70%.
Remdesivir is an antiviral drug that has been approved by the FDA for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients both children and adults.
Corticosteroids and blood thinners are also being used in the treatment against the deadly coronavirus Delta variant disease raising the number of hospitalized patients.
The drug, Ivermectin, however, has not been approved by the FDA for the treatment of COVID-19 and it may be unsafe to use. The CDC warns against ivermectin misuse.
The number of hospitalized coronavirus cases in Florida rose as much as 15509 and was 15494 on August 30, 2021. One year ago, the number of hospitalized cases in Florida was 235.9% less.
As Florida opens up economically and children head out to their new school year, focusing on practicing caution seems to be best advice.
Getting vaccinated and avoiding exposure to COVID-19 and its Delta variant by wearing masks, washing hands, and staying at least 6 feet from other people, when possible, is still the best anyone can do.
Leading a healthy lifestyle may also reduce your chances of severe symptoms when exposure is unavoidable.
The good news is that the number of vaccinated individuals has risen as the Delta virus begins to ‘shake their tree.’ Take this COVID-19 Quiz offered by the CDC to test your knowledge and misconceptions of vaccines:
- 53% or 11,468,372 people are fully vaccinated.
- 64% or 13,468,149 people received the first dose of a vaccine.
The following three vaccines have been authorized and available, however not all are FDA approved. Learning more about them may answer any questions you may have their safety and side effects.
*The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine on August 23,2021 and will begin to sell as Cormirnaty (koe-mir’-na-tee)
Next to getting vaccinated, the next most important choice you can make to guarantee your well-being is to make sure you have the best health insurance coverage you can get.
If you are unaware of the number of choices for affordable health insurance available to Florida residents, don’t hesitate to call your nearest health insurance broker. Get a free health insurance quote and be ready to tackle getting healthcare effective immediately and avoid healthcare debt.