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Leaked internal CDC document says Delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox

According to the Georgia Department of Health, with chickenpox, each infected person is likely to spread the virus to eight or nine other people.

ATLANTA — An internal document from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that was leaked overnight said the coronavirus Delta variant is as contagious as chickenpox, even among the vaccinated. Chief of Emory Medical Dr. Carlos del Rio said vaccinated individuals can still catch this variant and spread it as easily as unvaccinated individuals. However, he said if people have received the shots, the vaccine should protect them fairly well, especially from a severe illness.

He also said the CDC document indicated vaccination alone will not be able to stop the Delta variant, or future variants, from spreading. For that very reason, vaccinated people should be wearing masks.

According to the Georgia Department of Public Health, the Delta variant is now the dominant strain of the virus in the Peach State. Like chickenpox, each infected person is likely to spread the virus to eight or nine other people. In comparison, people sick with the common cold typically pass it only to about two people. 

"If you're not vaccinated, you're going to get infected. I mean, this variant will find you. This variant is highly transmissible. You can be in a room with somebody a few minutes. This 15-minute rule we had before doesn't apply. You're going to get infected," del Rio said.

The document also said until almost everyone is vaccinated, they don't believe this virus will stop spreading. With children under 12 still not eligible to get the vaccine, they said anyone taking care of children needs to be wearing a mask regardless of their vaccination status.