The COVID-19 Delta variant is said to spread as easily as chickenpox, according to an internal document shared within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

"The war has changed," the internal document states, according to a report by The Washington Post, and urges officials to recognize the change the Delta variant has brought to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Delta Variant Spreads Like Chickenpox

The COVID-19 Delta variant is described by The Washington Post as "so contagious that it acts almost like a different novel virus, leaping from target to target more swiftly than Ebola or the common cold."

The reports also cited still-unpublished data which shows that vaccinated people who are infected by the Delta variant can pass it on to others just as easily as unvaccinated people can. 

Related Article: CDC Says New COVID-19 Delta Variant Increases Transmission Rate By 10%

CDC Struggles to Get People Vaccinated and to Wear Masks

According to The Washington Post's report, the internal document, which is a slide presentation, shows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's struggles with urging the population to get vaccinated and to follow COVID-19 prevention measures such as wearing a mask. 

Earlier this week, CDC urged those who are vaccinated to resume wearing masks indoors. This is due to the still unpublished data on breakthrough infections mentioned earlier that has alarmed officials.

Breakthrough infections are COVID-19 cases that happen even after full vaccination. 

In an email to The New York Times, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky said breakthrough infections are "rare." Unvaccinated people still account for much of COVID-19 transmission. 

Health officials previously allowed vaccinated people to go mask-free due to the fact the earlier COVID-19 variants "rarely broke through the immunization barrier." According to The New York Times, this does not seem to be the case with the COVID-19 Delta variant. 

CDC Mask Guidelines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Guide to Masks is available on the CDC website and was last updated, as of writing, on June 29, 2021. 

According to the CDC guide, those who are aged two years old and older and not fully vaccinated should wear masks whenever in indoor public places.

While it says that in general, wearing a mask in outdoor settings is not really necessary, it should be considered for places with high COVID-19 cases, especially in crowded areas and when in close contact with those who are not yet fully vaccinated. 

CDC guidelines for the fully vaccinated recommends wearing a mask whenever indoors, especially if the area has high COVID-19 cases. 

Those with weakened immune systems are encouraged to wear a mask regardless of level of transmission. This is due to the fact that despite being fully vaccinated, those with weakened immune systems still have an increased risk of infection. 

Also Read: CDC School Guidelines 2021: Face Masks Required for the Unvaccinated, Reopening is a Go this Fall

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Written by Isabella James

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